27 December 2017


The puffer fish is a very expensive dish to eat...but watch out, it can kill you.
Fugu is a poisonous fish very popular in restaurants in Japan. Complete the sentences with information from the video. You don’t need to use more than 3 words in each gap.
0. Japan is crazy for FISH.
1. Tom tries fugu at Matsumoto, a restaurant known for __________________.
2. Chef Hayashi has ___________________ in his hands.
3. After World War ll, general MacArthur was in charge of the ________and imposed a _______________.
4. The number of fatalities has been reduced due to ___________ and ___________ .
5. A tiger fugu has _______________ to kill 30 people.
6. The poison kills by _______________.
7. ______________________ is the only way to save the victim.
8. Apart from being Japan’s national flower, the chrysanthemum is a popular choice for ____________ .
9. The typical fugu meal consists of 8 courses, including sake and ________ fugu.
From www.nationalgeographic.com


21 December 2017

How many Brits live in the EU?


A little history lesson

Hogmanay is Scottish New Year, a celebration providing a unique combination of both traditional and modern customs.
The exact origins of Hogmanay are unknown, but it is thought that it was introduced in the 8th or 9th century by invading Vikings. The Vikings originated from further north, so it is possible that they paid more attention to celebrating the winter solstice than to Christmas. The shortest day was a good reason for them to have a party. For nearly 400 years, from the 17th Century until the 1950’s, Christmas wasn’t celebrated at all in Scotland. Christmas day therefore was just a normal working day and the big celebrations were saved for winter solstice holiday, which became Hogmanay.
There is a lot of debate over the origins of the word “Hogmanay”. Some linguists say it comes from the Scandinavian word “Hoggo-nott”, which was the name of the feast before the mid-winter Yule festival. Other people believe it might originate in the Gaelic, Anglo-Saxon, French, or Spanish languages, to name but a few!

Weird and wonderful traditions

Nowadays Hogmanay mixes traditions of the past with modern day celebrations. Things start with a custom called “Redding”. This tradition means cleaning the house before the bells at midnight so that you have a clean house to welcome in the New Year and make a fresh start. All debts from the previous year should also be paid back. In the past, it was also important to clean ashes from the fires, to make space for the new fires of the New Year. People also burned juniper in the house to remove any negative spirits from throughout the year.
Another Scottish custom to survive is that of “First Footing”. The “first foot” is the first person to visit your house just after midnight to celebrate the New Year and the person who brings you good luck for the New Year. In the past the “first foot” used to bring a traditional gift of a piece of coal, but nowadays people tend to bring something to eat or drink. It’s bad luck to visit empty-handed, and tradition says that it’s lucky for the first foot to be a dark haired male!

Party time!

Nowadays the modern Hogmanay celebrations include all-night street parties in the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, with big crowds, live music, parades and fireworks. Some people wear traditional highland dress such as kilts – a tartan skirt worn by men. You can also find bagpipers and highland dancing. At midnight it is customary to sing “Auld Lang Syne” whilst dancing in a circle. This song is based on old Scottish songs and poems adapted by the poet Robert Burns. The phrase “Auld Lang Syne” means “time gone by” and is a way to say goodbye to the old year and welcome in the new one.
Maybe one of the best things about Hogmanay is that it is so important in Scotland that both the 1st and the 2nd of January are public holidays! (In England only the 1st January is a holiday).
If you ever get a chance to welcome in the New Year in Scotland make sure you take it!

People sing Auld Lang Syne at midnight on December 31, but what are the lyrics? Most people don't know that it is a Scottish poem written in 1788 by Robert Burns and later set to the music of a folk song. 

How to Have a British Christmas

From explosives at the dinner table to burning letters to Santa, Siobhan Thompson looks at 10 ways Christmas differs in Britain. (Notably, they don't call them the holidays.)

1.   What do British and American people do with their letters to Father Christmas?
2. Where do British and American people put their stockings?
3. What do they leave for Father Christmas?
4. What’s a Christmas cracker?
5. What does a typical Christmas dinner in the UK include?
6. Typical desserts for Christmas in America and the UK.
7. When is Boxing Day?
8. Nowadays Boxing Day is similar to_____________.
9. What are pantomimes?
10. When is the Christmas tree taken down in the UK? Why?

Christmas Unwrapped: The History of Christmas

19 December 2017

People will live on Mars and never come back

More than 100,000 people are eager to make themselves at home on another planet. They've applied for a one-way trip to Mars, hoping to be chosen to spend the rest of their lives on uncharted territory, according to an organization planning the manned missions.
There were 200,000 people who applied to participate in the project called Mars One. It's a private enterprise to establish a permanent human settlement on Mars and film a reality show along the way. "Mars One Way" documents the thoughts and theories of Five hopeful Mars One astronauts as they contemplate the reality of leaving planet Earth forever, for a new home on Mars.
I'd like to thank Sara for recommending this video.

The Mars One mission is a one-way ticket to the Red Planet. It’s scheduled for 2023, when the first group of 4 men and women will land on Mars. There, they’re expected to collect data, plant oxygen-producing vegetation and prepare the planet for human colonization. Despite the obvious dangers of this enterprise, over 200,000 people from around the world have applied. 

14 December 2017


A video explaining this structure:
TO REFURBISH means to renovate and redecorate a building.


5 December 2017

If You Can Raed Tihs Yuor Sratgne Lkie me

If you can Raed this, you have a sgtrane mnid too. Can you raed this? Olny 55 plepoe out of 100 can. I cdnuolt blveiee that I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd what I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of thehmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno’t mtaetr in what oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the only iproamtnt tihng is that the frsit and lsat ltteer are in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it whotuit a pboerlm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Azanmig huh? Yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! If you can raed this fawrord it.
Have a nice weekend!!!


30 November 2017

30th November: Scotland day

The Ultimate Road Trip Map Of Things To See In Scotland (1)On November, 30th Scotland celebrates its patron saint.
How much do you know about this beautiful country?
Try this quiz

28 November 2017


Want to practise your written English? Write & Improve gives you feedback in seconds. 

Simply choose a task, write or upload your text and submit your writing for feedback. Then try again and use the feedback to improve.



DEFINITION: The condensed, elliptical, or sensationalist style of language characteristic of (especially newspaper) headlines.
Newspaper headlines make use of a great variety of less usual words, which can also make them harder to read by non-native speakers. Headlines also try to be ‘punny’ (making use of close synonyms or related words as a joke) and alliterative (using a string of words with the same initial letter or sound). They tend to use shorter words than normal, and often leave out unnecessary grammatical ‘extras’. All this makes headlines short and eye-catching (and less than easy to read). British newspapers also pander to the educational norms of their readers, and use vocabulary and references aimed at social classes. There is a world of difference between the style and content of UK newspapers The Times and The Sun, the former aimed at very well educated manager and diplomatic classes, the latter aimed at manual workers.
Because space is limited, headlines are written in a compressed telegraphic style, using special syntactic conventions:
  • Forms of the verb "to be" are omitted.
  • Articles are usually omitted.
  • Most verbs are in the simple present tense, e.g. "Governor signs bill".
  • The future is expressed as "to" followed by a verb, e.g. "Governor to sign bill".
  • In the US (but not the UK), conjunctions are often replaced by a comma, as in "Bush, Blair laugh off microphone mishap".
  • To save space, a long word is sometimes replaced by a shorter word with not quite the same meaning, e.g. "attack" to mean "criticize".
  • Country names are often used instead of their adjective form, for example "Belgium troops deploy to patrol streets" (instead of "Belgian troops...").

  • To save space, headlines often use extremely short words (many of which are not in common use otherwise) in unusual or idiosyncratic ways:
    amid (at the same time as)
    axe (eliminate)
    bid (attempt)
    blast (heavily criticize)
    chop (eliminate)
    confab (meeting)
    curb (reduce)
    duo (two people)
    eye (consider)
    fold (shut down)
    gambit (attempt)
    hike (increase)
    ink (sign a contract)
    laud (praise)
    mull (consider)
    nix (reject)
    parley (meeting)
    pen (write)
    probe (investigate)
    quiz (question)
    rap (criticize)
    scrap (abandon)
    see (forecast)
    slam (heavily criticize)
    temblor (earthquake)
    tout (endorse)
    vie (compete)
    vow (promise)
    woe (problem)

Here is a collection of headlines with straight English ‘translations’ below:

PM cuts aid to strife victims.
Prime minister reduces financial help to conflict victims.

MP to wed former wife.
Member of Parliament to re-marry his former wife.

Police vow to solve gems heist.
Police promise to solve jewel robbery.

New blasts threaten Middle East talks.
A new explosion puts Middle East negotiations in danger.

HRH in blaze drama.
A member of the royal family is involved in a fire.

Minister pledges to axe tunnel aid.
Minister promises to severely cut financial aid for tunnel.

Unions clash with oil giant over job cuts.
Unions argue with large oil company over lay-offs.

Teen in bid to row Atlantic.
A teenager attempts/tries to row across the Atlantic.

Minister ousted over tax ploy.
A minister is sacked/removed over tax tricks.

Met probes Internet banking fraud.
The Metropolitan Police investigate Internet banking fraud.

Poll shows curbs backed by public.
A public opinion survey reveals that spending cuts are supported by the people.

Witness plea over missing dog riddle.
Witnesses are being asked to come forward over a missing dog mystery.

Boss quits after books scam.
A manager resigns after financial books fraud.

Jobs boost after go-ahead for project.
Employment prospects improved after news of project approval.

There are, of course, many many more, and journalists are coining new ones every day in a bid the catch the reader’s eye. 

23 November 2017


Home For the Holidays: The History of Thanksgiving (Full Documentary)

Everyone knows the story of the first Thanksgiving, when a small group of Massachusetts's settlers celebrated making it through the year by feasting with their Native-American neighbors. But the story of Thanksgiving goes back much further, to ancient harvest festivals, and the holiday has been transformed over time into today's celebration marked by family, food and football. HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is a warm look at this particularly American celebration. Discover how New York was the first state to officially declare a day of Thanksgiving, and how President Lincoln first made Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863. Explore period accounts and art that bring Thanksgiving celebrations through the centuries to life, and find out the origins of traditions like the Macy's parade. And why do we serve turkey on Thanksgiving anyway? It's an intriguing look at the sometimes surprising tales behind one of America's most beloved holidays.

21 November 2017


What are white-collar crimes?
Which of these can be considered white-collar crimes?
shoplifting-selling information-cybercrime
Do you think white-collar criminals should do time in jail?
How can young people be protected from cyber bullying?
What can we do to protect ourselves from online crime like phishing?
Do you think the victims of crime get enough help from the justice system?
How effective do you think prisons are?
What alternatives to prisons can you think of? 
Do you think there are too many laws or regulations governing our lives?
Are there any new laws you would like to introduce?
What laws do you consider unfair and how would you change them?
Does gun ownership make society safer?
Which are the requirements to own a gun in your country?
Can you  think of suitable punishments for these crimes?

1 Mugging
A teenager was walking home late at night after a party, when three men jumped out from behind a wall and hit him in the face. As he fell to the ground, they took his phone and his wallet from his pocket and ran into a nearby house.

2 Fraud
A man from London received a desperate email from his friend. Apparently, the friend was on holiday in the USA when all his money and possessions were stolen. He asked for £500 cash to be sent as soon as possible. The man sent off the money, and was just coming back from the post office when he saw his friend coming out of a shop. He hadn’t even been in the USA.

3 Burglary
A wealthy woman returned to her home to find that the back door had been smashed with an axe. All the drawers and cupboards had been opened, and her things were thrown everywhere. However, she was amazed to discover that none of her valuable jewellery had gone. All that was missing was a single antique vase.


The Pilgrims were English Separatists. In the first years of the 17th century, small numbers of English Puritans broke away from the Church of England because they felt that it had not completed the work of the Reformation. They committed themselves to a life based on the Bible. Most of these Separatists were farmers, poorly educated and without social or political standing. One of the Separatist congregations was led by William Brewster and the Rev. Richard Clifton in the village of Scrooby in Nottinghamshire. The Scrooby group emigrated to Amsterdam in 1608 to escape harassment and religious persecution. The next year they moved to Leiden, in Holland where, enjoying full religious freedom, they remained for almost 12 years.

In 1617, discouraged by economic difficulties, the pervasive Dutch influence on their children, and their inability to secure civil autonomy, the congregation voted to emigrate to America. Through the Brewster family's friendship with Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the London Company, the congregation secured two patents authorizing them to settle in the northern part of the company's jurisdiction. Unable to finance the costs of the emigration with their own meager resources, they negotiated a financial agreement with Thomas Weston, a prominent London iron merchant. Fewer than half of the group's members elected to leave Leiden. A small ship, the Speedwell, carried them to Southampton, England, where they were to join another group of Separatists and pick up a second ship. After some delays and disputes, the voyagers regrouped at Plymouth aboard the 180-ton Mayflower. It began its historic voyage on Sept. 16, 1620, with about 102 passengers--fewer than half of them from Leiden.

How many people were on the Mayflower?  How long did it take for them to get to Plymouth? Get the facts.

Although Thanksgiving celebrations dated back to the first European settlements in America, it was not until the 1860s that Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of November to be a national holiday.

Watch the video and answer the following questions:
1- What did the Wampanoags teach the pilgrims?
2- How long did the first harvest meal last? 
3-What did this meal include?
4-Later, what did the celebration mean for the Puritans?
5-in 1777, why did the Continental Congress decreed a Thanksgiving Day?
6-Sarah Josepha Hale started a letter writing campaign. Why?
7-Who declared the last Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving Day? When?
8-List some traditions started during the 20th century.

Turkeys are an integral part of Thanksgiving celebrations. No Thanksgiving dinner feels complete without a turkey! Do you know why we eat turkey on Thanksgiving? Well, there are a number of interesting stories that are accounted for turkey becoming such a dinner staple on this day. Eating turkey on Thanksgiving Day was NOT ALWAYS a part of the traditions. There is pork, there is chicken, and fish and then, there is turkey. Our great-grandfathers could have chosen anything as the highlight of the dinner celebration, so why turkey? I don't think anyone can put a finger on a specific incident that led to this custom. Seems like a bit of mystery, but, we can try solving the puzzle with these pieces from the history of Thanksgiving. READ MORE.


Ellen had three members of her audience on the Know or Go machine to find out how much they know about Thanksgiving! Would you have won?

Watch President Obama Pardon His Final Thanksgiving Turkey


Is there another way of talking about past habits without using 'used to'? This is the question that Tim tackles in this video. In it he has to reveal some of the dark secrets of his past as well as some of his present habits, which can't all be recommended.

16 November 2017

Mystery Story / Narrative Tenses

This video is about narrative tenses (past simple, past continuous & past perfect). We use these tenses to sequence stories about the past. To master the use of these tenses you have to deal with their form, their use and their pronunciation – both for listening and speaking. Use this podcast to help you deal with all of those things, and then start using narrative tenses fluently whenever you describe something. Make your descriptions more detailed and colourful!
Here’s the transcript to the mystery story, but with some of the verbs ‘gapped’. Try to put them in the correct tense. Listen again to check.
The mystery story
Last night I _________________ (walk) home next to the river Thames, when something strange _________________ (happen) to me. It was late at night and I ________________ (have) a long and difficult day at work. There was a large full moon in the sky and everything was quiet. I was tired and lonely and I _________________ (just have) a few pints of beer in my local pub, so I decided to stop by the riverside and look at the moon for a while.

I _________________ (sit) on some steps very close to the water’s edge and looked up at the big yellow moon and wondered if it really was made of cheese. I felt very tired so I _________________ (close) my eyes and after a few minutes, I _________________ (fall) asleep. When I woke up, the moon _________________ (move) behind a cloud and it was very dark and cold. The wind _________________ (blow) and an owl _________________ (hoot) in a tree above me. I rubbed my eyes and started to get up, when suddenly I _________________ (hear) a splash. I _________________ (look) down at the water and saw something. Something terrible and frightening, and unlike anything I’d ever seen before. Something _________________ (come) out of the water and _________________ (move) towards me. Something green and strange and ugly. It was a long green arm and it _________________ (stretch) out from the water to grab my leg. I was so scared that I couldn’t move. I _________________ (never be) so scared in my whole life. The cold green hand _________________ (move) closer and closer when suddenly there was a blue flash and a strange noise from behind me. Someone _________________ (jump) onto the stairs next to me. He _________________ (wear) strange clothes and he had a crazy look in his eyes. He shouted “Get Back!” and _________________ (point) something at the monster in the water. There was a bright flash and the monster hissed and disappeared.

I looked up at the man. He looked strange, but kind. “Don’t fall asleep by the river when there’s a full moon”, he said “The Moon Goblins will get you.” I _________________ (never hear) of moon goblins before. I didn’t know what to do. “Who… who are you?” I asked him. “You can call me… The Doctor.” He said. I _________________ (try) to think of something else to say when he turned around and said, “Watch the stars at night, and be careful of the full moon”. I was trying to understand what he meant, when there was another blue flash and I closed my eyes. When I opened them again, he _________________ (go).

I couldn’t believe what _________________(happen). What on earth were Moon Goblins, and who was the mysterious Doctor? And why had he saved me? I was determined to find the answers to these strange questions. I stood up, looked at the moon and quickly walked home.

Would you like to know what happens next in the story?

11 November 2017

Alibaba Prepares a Grand Retail Experiment for This Singles’ Day

Jack Ma beat Jeff Bezos into grocery stores. Now China’s richest man is again showing his rival the way by targeting 6 million mom-and-pop shops, the biggest test yet of a vision to reinvent physical retail.
Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is prepping for Singles’ Day -- an annual Nov. 11 online shopping fiesta dwarfing Black Friday and Cyber Monday that Citigroup Inc. estimates could generate a record 158 billion yuan ($24 billion) of sales. This year comes with a twist: the e-commerce titan has enlisted 10 percent of China’s convenience stores, about 600,000 outlets, to hawk goods and get billions of parcels shipped to customers nationwide.



What is Armistice Day, what time are we silent and why is it for two minutes?  READ MORE...

7 November 2017

Global Ranking Of Happiness Has Happy News For Norway And Nicaragua

Listening Comprehension Questions:

  • What kind of questions to evaluate the level of happiness are people asked?
  • Why do Norwegians top the list this year?
  • What does the report say is the major cause of the decline of happiness in the United States? 

Classroom Discussion Themes:

  • Why do you think developing countries show the lowest levels of happiness?
  • What do you think the Spanish government could do to increase happiness among its citizens?
  • Do you think people are generally getting more or less happy over time? What are your reasons that support your thinking?

2 November 2017


Guy Fawkes was born in April 1570 in York. Although his immediate family were all Protestants, in keeping with the accepted religious practice in England at the time, his maternal grandparents were 'recusant' Catholics, who refused to attend Protestant services. When Guy was eight, his father died and his widowed mother married a Catholic, Dionis Baynbrigge. It was these early influences that were to forge Fawkes' convictions as an adult.
Fawkes and Spain
By the time he was 21 he had sold the estate his father had left him and gone to Europe to fight for Catholic Spain against the Protestant Dutch republic in the Eighty Years War. His military career went well and by 1603 he had been recommended for a captaincy. He had also adopted the Italian variant of his name, becoming known as 'Guido'.
In the same year, he travelled to Spain to petition the king, Philip III, for support in fomenting a rebellion in England against the "heretic" James I. Despite the fact that Spain and Britain were still, technically, at war, Philip refused.
"A man highly skilled in matters of war"
Personally, Fawkes was an imposing man. His former school friend Oswald Tesimond, who had become a Jesuit Catholic priest, described him as "pleasant of approach and cheerful of manner, opposed to quarrels and strife ... loyal to his friends".
Tesimond also claimed Fawkes was "a man highly skilled in matters of war", while the historian Antonia Fraser described him as "a tall, powerfully built man, with thick reddish-brown hair, a flowing moustache in the tradition of the time, and a bushy reddish-brown beard... a man of action ... capable of intelligent argument as well as physical endurance, somewhat to the surprise of his enemies."
Fawkes is drawn into the plot
It was while on campaign fighting for Spain in Flanders that Fawkes was approached by Thomas Wintour, one of the plotters, and asked to join what would become known as the Gunpowder Plot, under the leadership of Robert Catesby.
His expertise with gunpowder gave him a key - and very perilous - role in the conspiracy, to source and ignite the explosive. But 18 months of careful planning was foiled with just hours to go, when he was arrested at midnight on 4 November 1605 beneath the House of Lords. Thirty-six barrels of gunpowder were found stacked in the cellar directly below where the king would have been sitting for the opening of parliament the next day.
The foiling of the plot had been expertly engineered by James I's spymaster, Robert Cecil. Fawkes was subjected to various tortures, including the rack. Torture was technically illegal, and James I was personally required to give a licence for Fawkes to endure its ravages.
While just the threat of torture was enough to break the resolve of many, Fawkes withstood two days of the most terrible pain before he confessed all. Famously, his signature on his confession was that of a shattered and broken man, the ill-formed letters telling the story of a someone who was barely able to hold a quill. His fortitude throughout had impressed James I, who said he admired Fawkes' "Roman resolution".
Fawkes was sentenced to the traditional traitors' death - to be 'hanged, drawn and quartered'. In the event, he jumped from the gallows, breaking his own neck and thereby avoiding the horror of being cut down while still alive, having his testicles cut off and his stomach opened and his guts spilled before his eyes. His lifeless body was hacked into quarters and his remains sent to "the four corners of the kingdom" as a warning to others.
The burning of the 'guy'
Guy Fawkes instantly became a national bogeyman and the embodiment of Catholic extremism. It was a propaganda coup for the Protestant English and served as a pretext for further repression of Catholics that would not be completely lifted for another 200 years.
It is perhaps surprising that Fawkes and not the charismatic ring-leader Robert Catesby is remembered, but it was Fawkes who was caught red-handed under the Houses of Parliament, Fawkes who refused to speak under torture, and Fawkes who was publicly executed. Catesby, by contrast, was killed evading capture and was never tried.
Through the centuries the Guy Fawkes legend has become ever-more entrenched, and by the 19th Century it was his effigy that was being placed on the bonfires that were lit annually to commemorate the failure of the plot.

30 October 2017


Halloween costumes 2017: These are the top dress trends this year
Expect to see these five costumes everywhere this year...


Halloween isn't just costumes and candy; it's a cultural holiday rich in tradition. Watch the video and do the activity. To check your answers CLICK HERE

  1. Halloween is described as a patchwork holiday stitched together with ________    ________ and ________ traditions. 
  2. It all began with the ________, a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than ________ _______ ________.  
  3. The end of the ________ _________ was celebrated in a festival called Samhain
  4. On Samhain  the villagers gathered and ________  ________  ________ to drive the dead back and keep them  away  from   the  _______.  
  5. All Saints’ Day honours ________ and  the _________ _______.
  6. ________ ________ was known as “All Hallows’ Eve”.
  7. The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the ________ ________ in the _______.
  8. The children _______ _______ so they _______ ________ _______. 
  9. Over the years the harmless tricks grew into outright _______.
  10. Shopkeepers began to give treats or bribes to stop the ________ .  
  11. By the _______ _______ “Trick or Treat” became the holiday greeting.

26 October 2017


Every morning, Sam is so enthusiastic to begin his day that he jumps out of bed and begins to sing.
His mother became worried when she didn't hear from him for two days.
David is quite shy so he doesn't like talking to people he doesn't know.
A year after being fired from his job, Alan is still very bitter. He has a lot of resentment towards his former boss.
Even though I am accustomed to traveling for business, I still get homesick if I am away from my home for more than a week.
Katie feels threatened every time her boyfriend talks to another girl. She thinks that every girl wants to steal him.
In the U.S., Thanksgiving is a holiday in which people give thanks for the blessings they have. Before the Thanksgiving meal, family members will say what they are thankful for.
I am absolutely furious!! I cannot believe that my dog chewed my favorite shoes. Now they're ruined!

24 October 2017

READING: What keeps a 65-year marriage going?


Writing informal letters and emails involves writing letters or emails to friends or relatives.
When writing an informal letter or email our language is more relaxed and we are able to use abbreviations, which is rare in other forms of English writing, except perhaps when using direct speech.
English expressions-Informal emails/letters
Examples of informal letters/emails
And click here to do a multiple choice exercise.

You have received the following letter from your English penfriend:
I'm really pleased you're planning to come to England to study. Let me know what type of course you're interested in and I'll ring some colleges for details. The more information you can give me the better!

Write your letter of reply to your penfriend (around190 words).
You have received the following email from your English penfriend:
It's a really brave step to take a year out of college to come and spend 6 months in the UK! What are you planning to do with your time? Find a job? Learn some new skills? Write back and give me more details of your plans so I can do my best to help you have a good time...
Write your letter of reply to your penfriend (around 190 words).

19 October 2017


Did these women plan to have a big family or a small family?
Financial implications of both types of families
Advantages of a big family according to David
Disadvantages of being an only child according to the second woman.

18 October 2017

5 Things to Say When You Don’t Understand Something!

When you are in the middle of an English conversation, it’s normal to feel awkward or nervous. It’s normal to get stuck because you don’t understand what someone said, or because you can’t remember a word or you don’t know the right word in English. Don’t fight it. Don’t waste your time and energy thinking and worrying about how awkward or nervous you feel. It will just make things worse. Instead, memorize these useful sentences so that you know what to say the next time you get stuck in a conversation.

1. "Sorry?"
Make sure that your voice goes up at the end of sorry so that it sounds like a question.
This is not an apology. This is a polite way of asking someone to repeat themselves, or say something again. 

2. "Sorry? I didn't catch that. Can you say that again, please?"
In this context, the verb catch means hear or understand something that someone said. When you say, “I didn’t catch that,” it means that you didn't hear or understand what the other person said.

3. "Can you speak more slowly please?"
"Can you speak a little slower please?" 

Native speakers sometimes speak fast. There are people who speak so fast even other native speakers can’t understand them!
Most English speakers won’t mind if you ask them to speak slowly. Just remember to say “please”

4. "I'm sorry, what was the last thing you said? Can you repeat that please?"
Sometimes you might not understand one or two words in a sentence because the speaker said the word so quickly.
Natural spoken English is different from the English that you learned in school. It’s much faster, and words are reduced and linked together, so sometimes it’s difficult to understand every word that someone says.
5. "I’m sorry, what does ____ mean?"
(NOT: What means _____ ? )

Sometimes you might not understand a word in a sentence because you’ve never heard that word before. You can ask someone to repeat a word or ask what that word means. 

Finally, after all of that, if you still can’t understand what the person said, ask them to write it down!

17 October 2017


TO GET can be used in a number of patterns and has a number of meanings.
  • got my passport last week. (to obtain)
  • She got her driving license last week. (to obtain)
  • They got permission to live in Switzerland. (to obtain)
  • got a letter from my friend in Nigeria. (to receive)
  • He gets $1,000 a year from his father. (to receive)
  • She got a new coat from Zappaloni in Rome. (to buy)
  • We got a new television for the sitting room. (to buy)
  • How are you getting home tonight?
  • We got to London around 6 p.m.
  • What time will we get there?
  • When did you get back from New York?
  • I am getting old.
  • It's getting hotter.
  • By the time they reached the house they were getting hungry.
  • I'm getting tired of all this nonsense.
  • My mother's getting old and needs looking after.
  • It gets dark very early in the winter.
  • Don't touch the stove until is gets cool.

to get at:                    try to express           
                                   I think I see what you're getting at. I agree.
to get away with:      escape punishment 
                                   I can't believe you got away with cheating on that test!
to get by:                  manage (financially) 
                                  Sam doesn't earn much, but we get by.
to get down:             depress, descend     
                                  This rain is really getting me down.
to get off:                  leave a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane)
                                 We got off the train just before the bomb exploded.
to get on:                 1. enter/sit on a form of transport (train, bus, bicycle, plane)
                                He got on his bicycle and rode down the street.
                                2. have a relationship with someone
                                Amy and I really get on well.
to get on with:           to proceed               
                                 I have so much homework, I'd better get on with it.
to get out of:            avoid doing something, especially a duty
                                 She got out of the washing-up every day, even when it was her turn.
to get over:              recover (from an illness, a surprise)         
                                 Have you gotten over your cold yet?
to get through:        use or finish the supply of something
                                 We've got through all the sugar. Can you buy some more?
to get up:                 leave your bed                           
                                 He gets up at 6.00 a.m. every morning.

  • Do you get it means do you understand.
    Do you get what the teacher was explaining in class?
  • He's getting dinner tonight means he's preparing the meal.
    You can relax. It's my turn to get dinner tonight.
  • I'll get the bill means I'll pay.
    Put your wallet away! I'll get the bill.
  • That really gets me! means that irritates me.
    It really gets me when my sister shows up late.
  • To get rid of something means to throw it away.
    I'm going to get rid of all these old newspapers.
  • To get out of bed on the wrong side means to be in a bad mood.
    He got out of the wrong side of the bed this morning and he's been horrible all day.
  • To get your own back means to have your revenge or punish someone.
    She's getting her own back for all those rude things you said at the party last night.