Saturday, 21 October 2017

VOCABULARY: Vague Language (C1)

To sound as natural as native speakers there are certain expressions and phrases we can use as fillers to gain time to think and to be vague, in case we need to.

Have a look at all the possibilities the language holds for us.

VOCABULARY: Personality Idioms (C1)

Saturday, 7 October 2017

GRAMMAR: Past Continuous (A2)

Watch the video from the British Council and go through the notes. After studying the grammar, do the activities.

Past Continuous

What were your family doing on Sunday at six o'clock in the evening?

Make correct sentences to answer the question.

1. My mum / cook dinner
2. My dad / watch football
3. My grandmother / water the plants
4. My grandfather / read the newspaper & smoke a cigar
5. My sister / have a shower
6. My two little brothers / play computer games
7. My cat / sleep
8. I / study English & listen to music

What about YOUR family? 

What were they doing on Sunday at six pm?


1. My mum was cooking dinner
2. My dad was watching football
3. My grandmother was watering the plants
4. My grandfather was reading the newspaper and smoking a cigar
5. My sister was having a shower
6. My two little brothers were playing computer games
7. My cat was sleeping
8. I was studying English and listening to music

GRAMMAR: Narrative Tenses (B1+ / B2)

Read the grammar theory and do the activity below.

Narrative Tenses

Fill the gaps with the correct tense of the verb in brackets.

James Bond 1. (need) a drink. The fight in the carpark with the dwarf 2. (make) him thirsty. He walked quickly along 46th Street in search of an air-conditioned bar where he could get out of the heat and think.

He 3. (walk) for only a few minutes, when it suddenly 4. (occur) to him that somebody 5. (follow) him. There was no evidence for it except for a slight itchy feeling on the top of his head. But he had faith in his sixth sense. It 6. (never / fail) him. He 7. (stop) in front of the shop window he 8. (pass) and 9. (look) casually back along the street. He 10. (examine) the Swiss watches in the window and then 11. (turn) and walked on.

After a few yards he turned into a shop doorway where a man 12. (look) at Japanese cameras. As he did so, something grabbed his right arm and a voice snarled, 'All right, Limey*. Take it easy unless you want lead for lunch', He 13. (feel) something press into his back just above his kidneys. Bond 14. (try) to swing his arm to hit whoever it was that 15. (hold) him, but a strong hand 16. (catch) his fist**. An amused voice , 17. (say) "No good, James. The angels have got you."

He turned his head to find himself looking into the grinning hawk-like*** face of Felix Leiter. A face he last 18. ( see) covered in bandages in a hospital bed in Cairo nine months earlier. The face of the American secret agent with whom he 19. (share) so many adventures.

* limey - an old fashioned American slang expression for an British person.
** fist - the shape of your hand when you hold your fingers and thumb tightly together when you want to hit someone.
*** hawk-like - like a hawk, a kind of hunting bird.



1. needed 2. had made 3. had been walking 4. occurred 5. was following 6. had never failed 7. stopped 8. was passing 9. looked 10. examined 11. turned 12. was looking 13. felt 14. tried 15. was holding 16. caught 17. said 18. saw 19. had shared

VOCABULARY: Personality Adjectives (B2)

Personality Adjectives

What do yo call a person who...?

  • doesn't say what they really think
  • feels sure about their ability to do things
  • keeps their head in a crisis
  • acts without thinking
  • thinks is better and more important than others
  • has a lot of knowledge because their experience
  • never changes their opinion even when they are wrong
  • is determined to be successful
  • takes care to do things carefully and correctly
  • is different and unusual
  • has a great sense of humour
  • is always in a bad mood
  • is emotionally in control
  • is not very good at expressing their feelings or opinions
  • is fairly relaxed about things


  • insincere, hypocrite
  • confident, secure
  • calm
  • impulsive
  • arrogant
  • wise
  • stubborn
  • ambitious
  • conscientious
  • eccentric
  • funny
  • bad-tempered, moody
  • well-balanced
  • reserved, shy
  • easy-going, laid-back

PRONUNCIATION: -ed ending for the past simple

Hi everyone!

Here is a very home-made video about the pronunciation of -ed, it's not big thing but I hope it will help you practise at home.

Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.

GRAMMAR: Past Simple (A1 / A2)

We all like talking about what we did last weekend, yesterday, last summer or when we were children. To be able to talk about our past we need the past simple tense.

The past simple tense in English needs studying since there are many irregular verbs. Take your time, go through the notes, watch the video and study the irregular verbs. Then do the activity and check your answers with the list of verbs.

Irregular Verbs

Fill in the blanks with the past simple of the verbs in bold.
1.     Did you have a nice trip? Yes, I ________ a very nice trip, thanks.
2.     What time did you leave the house? I ________ at 8.30.
3.     Did you fly from Heathrow? No, we ________ from Gatwick.
4.     Did you see the Jacksons? Yes, we ________ them last week.
5.     Did you think about me? Of course I ________ about you.
6.     Did you take a coat? No, but I ________ a sweater.
7.     Did you give her my address? Yes, and I ________ her your telephone number.
8.     Where did you go on holidays? We ________ to Italy.
9.     What time did you wake up? I ________ at 8.00 a.m.
10. Did you get up early yesterday? No, I ________ at 11 o’clock.
11. When did they come back? They ________ back two days ago.
12. What did you eat for breakfast? I ________ cornflakes.
13. Would you like to drink something? No, thanks, I ________ some coffee earlier.
14. Did you write the report? Yes, I ________ it yesterday.
15. Did you read the newspaper? No, I just ________ a magazine.
16. Where did you put the tickets? I ________ in my bag.
17. He always loses his car keys, once he almost ________ his car!
18. He doesn’t speak English, so he ________ to me in Chinese.
19. What did you say? I ________ his name.
20. I don’t usually run, but I ________ 5 kilometres yesterday.
21. Did I tell you about my holidays? Yes, you ________  me yesterday.
22. Did you buy a new suit? No, I just ________ a new tie.
23. I don’t often break plates, but yesterday I ________ two.
24. Why did you fall down the stairs? Because you ________ (push) me!
25. Why did you hit me? I ________ you because I was angry.
26. Where did you sit? We ________ at the front.
27. Did you have to stand on the train? Yes, I ________ near the doors.
28. What did you wear last night? I ________ a black dress.
29. How did you tear your jeans? I ________ them on my car door.
30. Did you draw that picture? No, my son ________ it.