Tuesday, December 27, 2011

curious vs interesting

If someone is curious it means they are interested in learning about what is around them.

For example: "Lynne was curious to find out how many people used the website."

If something is curious, it means it's odd, strange or unusual.

For example: "The results were very curious because a lot of Americans were using the website."

If someone or something is interesting it means it gets your attention because it may be unusual, exciting, or has a lot of ideas

For example: "She found the results very interesting."

So, something curious can be interesting, but something interesting isn't necessarily curious.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Wishing you

A Christmas Story


Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family's only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoebox she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoebox.Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, "This is for you, Daddy!"

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.But when he opened the shoebox, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. "Don't you know, young lady," he said harshly, "when you give someone a present, there's supposed to be something inside the package!"

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: "Daddy, it's not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full."The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Life without Money

Use these words to fill in the gaps.

of children to few money Heidemarie ticket student computer has Today something turns and job the house-sat circle money she me Before of but life earn She for you as society you all can have last in So the give want anything all year they tube Heidemarie using three are people book that holiday one experiment earn might the to they and money Dortmund

I’m___________(1) Schwermer, a 63-year-old German woman, __________(2) lived without money for the __________(3) ten years and has written a __________(4) about her experiences called ‘My __________(5) without money’. At the age __________(6) 54 Heidemarie gave up her __________(7) as a psychotherapist, gave away __________(8) her money and her flat __________(9) threw away her credit cards. __________(10), apart from a few clothes (__________(11) sweaters, two skirts, two pairs __________(12) shoes, and a coat) and a __________(13) personal belongings, she doesn’t own __________(14). It began as a one-year __________(15). In her home city of __________(16) she set up a ‘swapping __________(17)’ where people swap services without __________(18) money, for example, a haircut __________(19) a mathematics class. To prove __________(20) this could work she decided __________(21) give up using money for a __________(22). But when the year ended __________(23) continued and has not used __________(24) since then. At first she __________(25) for friends who were on __________(26). She stayed in their house __________(27) return for watering the plants __________(28) looking after their animals. At __________(29) moment she is staying in a __________(30) residence where she can sleep, __________(31) a shower, or use a __________(32) in return for cooking for __________(33) young people who live there. __________(34) also ‘works’ as a psychotherapist. ‘__________(35) I treated very wealthy people __________(36) now I help anyone who __________(37) up. Sometimes they give me __________(38) in return, but not always.’ __________(39) says, ‘I can live thanks __________(40) my contacts. A lot of __________(41) who know me understand what __________(42) doing and want to help __________(43). When I need a bus __________(44), for example, or a new __________(45) of toothpaste I think, “Who __________(46) I ask? What can I __________(47) them in return?” If I __________(48) to go to the cinema I __________(49) offer to look after somebody’s __________(50) for the afternoon. ‘It is __________(51) of the mistakes of our __________(52) that most people do something __________(53) don’t like just to earn __________(54) and spend it on things __________(55) don’t need. Many people judge __________(56) according to how much you __________(57). In my opinion, all jobs __________(58) equally important. You may not __________(59) a lot of money but __________(60) may be worth a lot __________(61) a person. That’s my message’. __________(62) what did she do with __________(63) the money she earned from __________(64) sales of ‘My life without __________(65)’? ‘I gave it all away…’

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A-1 A-2 Verb Tenses

Review of Verb Tenses

TIP from Torrie:

After reviewing each section why not go to the grammar links listed in the right side of this blog and practice?

Present Simple: Occurs in the Present
Uses: Facts, routines, habits
To give instruction or directions

Signal Words:
every day/week/month; twice a day/week/month, often, usually, sometimes, never

I watch the news every day.
Form: Root verb, e.g. study
With 3rd.person singular, the endings are –s; or –es
I read;
He /She reads
I study; He /She studies
Questions & Negatives: ‘do’; ‘don’t’; ‘does’ & ‘doesn’t’

Present Continuous (Progressive): Is Occurring in the Present
Uses: To describe an action that is going on at the moment
To describe a temporary event of situation
With always, forever, constantly to describe and emphasize a continuing
series of repeated actions
Nature: Temporary, in progress
Signal words: at the moment, right now, still, just, while
I am watching a good film at the moment.
Form: Root verb + (–ing) end study studying
[am / is/ are] + [verb + -ing]

Present Perfect Simple: Has occurred relative to the Present
Creates a bridge between the past and now at some unspecified time
Uses: A present situation that started in the past
A past event that caused a present situation
A repeated action in an unspecified period between the past & now
As a conversation opener, in order to establish the topic of conversation or
to introduce a story; for example:
Have you ever been to Scotland?
Have I ever told you about the time I went.....
Used to locate an action in time up to now
Signal words: up to now; until now; so far; since; often, yet, already, before, ever, just
Form: [has/have] + [past participle verb form]
She has worked at HTW since 1998.
Time expressions:
Present perfect is never used with definite time expressions; i.e. time expressions which describe
fixed points in the past (finished time).
In 1999; when I was five; yesterday; before I left school; last week; at 7am; two minutes ago; last
term; at Christmas – Use past simple
Present perfect can be used with some indefinite time expressions which describe time up-to-now:
this year; since I was six; this week; recently; ever; yet; for the last few days; within the last week.

Past Simple: Occurred in the Past
Uses: Is used to talk about a completed action at a time before now, duration is
not important, the time of the action can be in the recent or distant past.
Used when it was some event or incident in the past and you have moved
on and are no longer interested.
You always use the simple past when you say when (a definite point in
time) something happened, so it is associated with certain past time
Frequency: often, sometimes, always,
A definite point in time: last week, yesterday, six weeks ago
An indefinite point of time: ages ago, along time ago
(It happened a long time ago; that was ages ago!)
Chronological order: The door opened slowly and a man came in...
Form: [VERB + ed] Regular or Irregular past form of the verb
Three years ago, I studied German in Berlin.
When the phone rang, I washed my hair.
Details: When we want to give or receive (ask for) details involving the past,
then we use the past simple. (WHEN; WHERE; WHO; WHY)

I will call you back as soon as possible
To express an instant decision
What would you like to drink? - I‘ll have a large orange juice
To indicate or announce a definite future decision
To express a prediction
When making a general prediction about the future
Form: [WILL] + [VERB] I will help him later; I will never help him
When using a verb tense with more than one part (will help), adverbs (never);
adverbs come between the 1st and 2nd. part.
Time Reference: No future form in time clauses
Like all future forms, the future simple cannot be used in clauses beginning with
‘when’, ‘while’, ‘before’, ‘after’, ‘by the time’, ‘as soon as’, ‘if’ and ‘unless’
When you arrive tonight, we will watch a film. – CORRECT
When you will arrive tonight, we will study English. – WRONG
A specific time can be used to show the time that an action will begin.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Swiss in spending mood this Christmas

Despite gloomy economic forecasts, the Swiss are planning to spend a little bit more this Christmas than they did last year.

The consulting firm Deloitte found in a survey that on average each Swiss expected to shell out SFr612 ($661) for gifts.

While that is down SFr6 on the previous year, the total each household plans to spend on Christmas (shopping, special food, social events) has gone up by SFr3 to SFr1,038.

The high cost of goods in Switzerland is reflected in the fact that the amount is more the SFr300 higher than the European average. Deloitte said that Europeans will spend the same on activities and food but a few euros less on gifts this year.

Favourite Swiss presents are books and cash, the agency said. Due to the strong franc, 56 per cent of those surveyed said they would do their Christmas shopping in eurozone countries, compared to 48 per cent in 2010.

Gift-buying online has also become more popular. Nearly half said they are buying their presents online, which is 36 more than last year.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Comparatives and Superlatives

tall -taller -tallest
beautiful -more beautiful -most beautiful

Comparing in English is not that difficult.
I suggest you practice a bit here!
click on this link

Friday, December 2, 2011

a / an / the / some / any / many / much /

Confusing sometimes!

Here is some practice on usage of these words.

Begin here

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Let's do a little possessive pronoun practice.
Three minutes out of the day won't hurt a bit!
And here we go

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Conversation Time

Complete the conversations.

1. Will you see Amy on Saturday?

A If I’ve got time.
B When she’s early.
C Because she’s my friend.

2. There’s a two hour delay.

A 2 o’clock.
B We’ll be late.
C I hope so.

3. Have you got any stamps?

A Yes, would you like one?
B Yes, there are.
C Yes, very much.

4. Hello, 348820

A Hello that’s John.
B Hello, I’m John.
C Hello it’s John here.

5 Could I have a glass of water?

A I haven’t seen it.
B Here you are.
C Yes, please.

Scroll down to check your answers

1 A
2 B
3 A
4 C
5 B

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Reading Practice A-2

As in the Key English Test.
Questions 1-6

Which notice (A-H) says this (1-6)? Click on the notice to select it.

1. People who saw a car drive into another car should call this number.

Begin Here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

PET B-1 Listening anyone?

The B-1 level English is really important. This is the breakthrough for you. Practice makes perfect.
Here is a listening exam for you to practice.

Click on the speaker to listen to the recordings. Then look at the pictures carefully. Decide which picture agrees with each recording and press the button under it. If you want to make a change, just press the button under your new choice.

Click here to begin

Snapshot Vocabulary

Unit 7
Listen and practice!

Begin here

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Gapped Sentences

Read the sentences about cleaning the house.

Choose the best word for each space.

CLICK HERE to begin

Monday, November 14, 2011

Relative Clauses

How to Form Relative Clauses

A girl is talking to Tom.
Do you know the girl?
Do you know the girl who is talking to Tom?

Put both pieces of information into one sentence.
Start with the most important thing
– you want to know who the girl is.
Look at this explanation.

Auf Deutsch

In English

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

FCE Reading Part 1

PART 1: British Management: Multiple Choice

Choose the answers you think fit best according to the text.


According to an article in Management Today, the British manager still stops work for tea. The French managing director of Novotel, the hotel group, tells what happened at his first management meeting when he took over its English operation in 1991:

"The meeting was in the afternoon, and it got to about 3.30 and everyone started looking at their watches. I didn't know what was going on. I turned to my secretary, who was English, and she said that they probably wanted to break for tea. I couldn't understand it. In France we just carry on until we have finished. Now we always break for tea."

I am not sure how many English managers now break for tea. Not that many, I imagine. Twenty years ago it was commonplace. I will never forget a Canadian sales director, pink with fury, telling me at that time how he had been offered tea and biscuits at three in the afternoon in Northampton: "I come three thousand miles, and take three taxis and a damn steam engine into the sticks, and I wanna do business, and this guy gives me a `nice cup of China tea and a biccy'. What IS he?" Mind you, this was the same man who in Rome told his Italian agent that the Colosseum would make a nice parking lot.

It is not so much the cup of tea as the pint of bitter that managers from outside Britain find a bar to efficiency. In the article, a German manager tells how when he first took over a job in Britain, he discovered that at lunchtime and especially on Fridays, the majority of his management team left for the pub. He says: "I stopped that right away. Now they are not allowed off the premises. It didn't make me very popular at the time but it is not good for efficiency. There is no way we would do that in Germany. No way."

According to European managers the British are still too concerned with class and status. A German says: "People say that the class system is a hindrance to progress and then two weeks later you overhear them discussing a colleague and saying, `Well, he is not very well-spoken, is he?'" And another says: "The class gaps translate into big gulfs in the pay league, too. In Germany, I might earn three times more than my secretary. Here it is five times."

Some criticisms are rather like those levelled at Japanese management. For example, talking about status, a Dutch manager says: "A director is God here. They respect him and think that he is right even when he is wrong. It's quite difficult to have an open conversation. People will not say `I disagree'."

Too great an interest in money is also criticised. A Dutch manager says: "My first impression on coming to Britain was that profit seemed to be the most important thing." And a Frenchman points out the difference between the UK and France: "In France there is no pressure on the bottom line."

The French manager also points out a difference in educational standards: "In France all the secretaries, or personal assistants as we call them, would have degrees. You wouldn't consider recruiting one without a degree. So, that means you can delegate much more to the secretaries in France. In the UK you cannot do that so much."

1. In the middle of the afternoon

A. everyone checked their watches.

B. hinted that it was teatime.

C. took a break.

D. noticed it was 3.30.

2. In the past

A. managers usually had a teabreak.

B. offered visitors China tea.

C. wasted a lot of time drinking tea.

D. drank a lot of tea.

3. The Canadian

A. was impressed by the Englishman's good manners.

B. had travelled a long way.

C. liked to do business.

D. considered his time was being wasted.

4. Why did the Canadian say the Colosseum would make a nice parking lot?

A. He had nowhere to park.

B. He was joking.

C. He was worried about Rome's traffic problems.

D. He was envious of Italy's glorious past.

5. The German didn't like his managers going to the pub because

A. he was against drink.

B. they got drunk.

C. it made them inefficient.

D. he believed playing sports would be better for them.

6. To stop them going to the pub, the managers

A. were ordered to stay in the office.

B. were given free lunches in the office.

C. played team games in the lunch-hour.

D. had meetings at lunchtime.

7. In Britain, managers are paid much more than their secretaries because of

A. sexism.

B. education.

C. class.

D. elocution.

8. English and Japanese managers are similar in that they

A. are tactful.

B. like tea.

C. avoid disagreement.

D. have a superiority complex.

9. In comparison with the British secretary, a French secretary

A. is better paid.

B. has more status.

C. is better spoken.

D. can take more responsibility.

Check your answers.

1.. A

2. A

3. D

4. B

5. C

6. A

7. C

8. C

9. D

Thursday, November 3, 2011

CAE Listening Part 1 Practice time

In this part, you will hear short extracts from exchanges between interacting speakers with two multiple-choice questions on each extract.

You’ll hear two different extracts. For questions 1-4, choose the answer which fits best according to what you hear. There are two questions for each extract. You can listen to the audio twice.

Begin here

from Exam English

FCE Use of English Part 1

Look at these five sentences. Which of the four words is the best one to complete each sentence?

1. The traffic was so _____ that nothing was moving.

a. full b. heavy c. big d. great

2. She always ate breakfast at home before _____________ for work.

a. moving out b. getting out c. setting out d. putting out

3. They agreed to lend him some money _____ he paid it back quickly.

a. even though b. as far as c. so that d. provided that

4. The phones all looked so interesting that he couldn’t ______ his mind which one to buy.

a. decide b. make up c. organise d. fix

5. She hadn’t slept for 3 days and her skin looked really _____ .

a. white b. pale c. light d. faint


Sunday, October 30, 2011

The History Of Halloween

Halloween is one of the world's oldest holidays, dating back to pagan times. But it is celebrated today by more people in more countries than ever before. There's a simple reason: it is fun and it is good, clean, harmless fun for young and old alike! Also see Halloween around the world and see this page of current Halloween facts and statistics.

Since much of the history of Halloween wasn't written down for centuries; some of it is still sketchy and subject to debate. But the most plausible theory is that Halloween originated in the British Isles out of the Pagan Celtic celebration of Samhain. It goes back as far as 5 B.C. It was believed that spirits rose from the dead and mingled with the living on this day. The Celts left food at their doors to encourage good spirits and wore masks to scare off the bad ones. Some historians believe that the Romans who invaded England added a few of their own traditions to the celebration of Samhain; such as celebrating the end of the harvest and honoring the dead; others say that since the Romans never conquered the Celts (Ireland and Scotland) there was no mingling of cultures, and that the Celts celebrated the end of the harvest and honored their dead in this way, anyway!

Many centuries later, the Roman Catholic church, in an attempt to do away with pagan holidays, such as Halloween (and Christmas, which had been the Roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia) established November 1st as All Saint's Day (in French, la Toussaint), in celebration of all the saints who do not have their own holy day. This attempt to detract attention from the pagan celebration of Samhain didn't work. The celebrations on the eve of All Saint's Day continued to grow and change! During the massive Irish immigration into America in the 1840s, Halloween found its way to the United States, where it continued to flourish!

It is also believed that the Christian practice of celebrating the evening before a holiday, such as Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve, etc. came from the Jewish traditions. Jewish days and holidays begin with the evening before. Always have, as Judaism follows a lunar calendar in which the sunsets begin the new day. Many Christian groups now observe holy days from sundown on one day until sundown on the following day.

The modern name, Halloween comes from "All Hallows' Evening," or in their slang "All Hallow's Even", the eve of All Hallows' Day. "Hallow" is an Old English word for "holy person," and All Hallows' Day is just another name for All Saints' Day, eventually, it became abbreviated to "Hallowe'en" and then "Halloween."

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Jack O'Lantern

Legend has it that an Irish blacksmith called Jack shared drinks with the Devil on a Halloween night. Jack was an evil and stingy man, but he was also very clever, and he knew that the Devil had come to claim his soul. So, he quickly devised a plan. When it came to paying the bartender, Jack told the Devil, “You can take any form you wish; just change yourself into a silver coin, let me use you to pay for the drinks, and then you can change yourself back and take my soul.”

The Devil agreed and changed himself into a silver coin. Jack, however, quickly put the coin in his pocket where he also kept a little silver Cross. The Devil wasn’t able to change back to his original form, so Jack offered him a deal, “If you leave me alone for 10 years, I’ll set you free.” The Devil had no choice but to agree.

Ten years later, the Devil came back to claim Jack’s soul. “Okay, you can have my soul now,” Jack said, “Could you just climb that apple tree first and give me an apple?” The Devil thought he had nothing to lose and climbed the apple tree, but Jack quickly pulled out his knife and carved a Cross in the trunk of the tree. Thus the Devil wasn’t able to come back down again, and Jack offered him another deal, “If you promise never to come back to claim my soul, I’ll set you free.” Again, the Devil had no choice but to agree, and he never came back to claim Jack’s soul.

Many years later, Jack finally died. When he went to Heaven, he was denied entrance, because he had been so evil and stingy all his life. Then Jack went to Hell, but, as he had tricked the Devil, he wasn’t allowed to stay there either. Instead, the Devil sent Jack back to earth and gave him a burning coal as a light to guide him. Jack placed the piece of coal inside a turnip, and went back to earth, where, ever since, he has been wandering alone in the darkness.

Jack and his lantern became the symbol of a lost or damned soul. To scare these souls away on Halloween, people in Ireland carved or painted faces on turnips and placed them in windows or doorways. In America, Irish immigrants discovered that turnips were hard to get. So they started to make their lanterns out of pumpkins, a fruit native to America.

Questions on the text:
Go here!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Halloween Mystery

In a horrible castle (not too far away from your home) there lived a horrible Duke with his horrible wife and their horrible servants. One morning the Duke was dead–murdered by one of the other horrible people living in the castle.

When the residents of the castle were interviewed by the police, every person gave two correct answers and told one lie.

This is what they said:

Follow this link to continue the mystery

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gulliver's Travels

Paramount Pictures presents this everlasting story from 1938.

Watch this charming tale of Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. Timeless and wonderfully done!

To view the movie follow this link.

Key Word Transformations

Cambridge English: CAE Use of English 5

We dread this task.

But the more we practice the better we get!

Here are some examples:

The results show attendance has risen dramatically during the last year.
The results show a dramatic rise in attendance during the last year.

You probably won't find a better deal for a holiday.
The chances are you probably won't find a better deal for a holiday.

Ready to give it a go?

The Mini

Watch a report on the mini from International Express Upper Intermediate.
Begin here

Monday, October 17, 2011

Global Warming

Finally - scientific proof!

Read about global warming on Simple English Wikipedia

It's not SNOW!!!

The Oregon coast is where I come from. Florence Oregon to be specific.

Check this out.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Simple English Wikipedia

This is an excerpt the front page of the Simple English Wikipedia. Wikipedias are places where people work together to write encyclopedias in different languages. We use Simple English words and grammar here. The Simple English Wikipedia is for everyone! That includes children and adults who are learning English.
Follow this link

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Rest in Peace Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs, 1955–2011: Mourning Technology's Great Reinventor

Read more here

Monday, October 10, 2011


- so fragen Sie richtig Even those who have a good command of English have trouble with questions – and some of them don’t even know it. The little things can trip you up. Check the following rules to correct any of the errors you might unknowingly be making. Begin here Thanks to business English trainer



Write the sentence again, using the word in brackets. The meaning must stay exactly the same.

Bring it to me for checking-or email it if you prefer! Good Luck.

1. She is a very good English speaker.
You would think it was her native language.

2. There were so many people in the room that we couldn't move.

3. We missed the film because there was such a lot of traffic.

4. I can't wear this coat in winter, It's not warm enough.

5. When he speaks English, I can't understand what he says.

6. We lost the match although we were the better team.

7. In spite of not having eaten for 24 hours, I didn't feel hungry.
(even though)

8. Despite her injured foot, she managed to walk to the village.

9. The football match is still going on.

10. Has Jane got divorced yet?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fairy Tale Time

The Princess and the Pea
There was once a prince, and he wanted a princess, but then she must be a real Princess. He travelled right around the world to find one, but there was always something wrong. There were plenty of princesses, but whether they were real princesses he had great difficulty in discovering; there was always something which was not quite right about them. So at last he had come home again, and he was very sad because he wanted a real princess so badly.

One evening there was a terrible storm; it thundered and lightninged and the rain poured down in torrents; indeed it was a fearful night.

In the middle of the storm somebody knocked at the town gate, and the old King himself sent to open it.

It was a princess who stood outside, but she was in a terrible state from the rain and the storm. The water streamed out of her hair and her clothes; it ran in at the top of her shoes and out at the heel, but she said that she was a real princess.

‘Well we shall soon see if that is true,’ thought the old Queen, but she said nothing. She went into the bedroom, took all the bed clothes off and laid a pea on the bedstead: then she took twenty mattresses and piled them on top of the pea, and then twenty feather beds on top of the mattresses. This was where the princess was to sleep that night. In the morning they asked her how she slept.

‘Oh terribly bad!’ said the princess. ‘I have hardly closed my eyes the whole night! Heaven knows what was in the bed. I seemed to be lying upon some hard thing, and my whole body is black and blue this morning. It is terrible!’

They saw at once that she must be a real princess when she had felt the pea through twenty mattresses and twenty feather beds. Nobody but a real princess could have such a delicate skin.

So the prince took her to be his wife, for now he was sure that he had found a real princess, and the pea was put into the Museum, where it may still be seen if no one has stolen it.

Now this is a true story.

Fairy tales are classic fictional stories with a moral or lesson and usually have a happy -- or fairy tale -- ending. They usually take place in a far away land and include one or more make-believe characters such as:
• Princesses
• Princes
• Fairies
• Goblins
• Talking animals
• Mythical animals
• Giants
• Trolls
• Elves
• Humans with special or magical powers
The stories are usually far-fetched and are very attractive since they are easy to understand and can identify with the characters. Shorter tales usually have fewer characters and the morals are usually simple:
• Good triumphs over evil
• Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
• Don't be greedy
• Don't take things at face value
• Be careful what you wish

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Much and Many - jedes Mal richtig!

When to use much and when to use many can be confusing.
Some help for German speaking learners.

Begin here

Special thanks to business English trainer

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Prefix/Suffix Multiple Choice

Choose the best available answer for each of the following:

1) This newspaper is a BIWEEKLY.
a) the newspaper is published once a week
b) the newspaper is published three times a week
c) the newspaper is published twice a week

2) This medicine is a nasal DECONGESTANT.
a) the medicine helps to reduce nasal congestion
b) the medicine causes nasal congestion
c) the medicine makes your nose bigger

3) That shopping bag is REUSABLE.
a) throw the shopping bag away, we won’t need it again
b) don’t throw away the shopping bag because we can use it again.
c) if you throw the shopping bag we cannot use it again

4) I’m sorry I MISREAD the notice and therefore MISUNDERSTOOD the message.
a) Did not read the notice correctly and therefore did not understand correctly.
b) Read the notice and understood the message correctly
c) Did not read the notice and therefore did not understand the message.

5) We usually do not publish articles we don’t PREVIEW.
a) we usually read articles before publication
b) we do not read articles after publication
c) we read articles the day we publish them

6) REFORESTATION will help to RESTORE our environment.
a) planting trees again will REPLENISH our environment.
b) cutting down trees will further help to worsen the environment.
c) forests should be cut to improve the worsening environmental pollution

7) DEFORESTATION will cause environmental DEPLETION.
a) Means planting trees will help our environment from DEPLETION
b) Means cutting down trees will cause further environmental DEPLETION
c) Means too many forests will cause further environmental DEPLETION

8) Why is it called “OCTOBER” when it is not the eighth month of the year?
a) Because this is an exception with the OCTO prefix.
b) There is no reason why.
c) Because October used to be the eighth month of the Roman Calendar.

Now scroll down to check your answers.

1. = c
2. = a
3. = b
4. = a
5. = a
6. = a
7. = b
8. = c

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Does Your Homework Help You Learn?

Feedback please.

Leave a comment on if you think homework:

Helps you learn more?

Not enough?

Too much?

Quality of assignments?

Anonymous comments appreciated!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Have something done

If you 'have something done', you get somebody else to do something for you.

•I'm going to have my hair cut.
•She's having her house redecorated.
•I'm having a copy of the report sent to you

In informal English, we can replace 'have' by 'get'.

•We're getting a new telephone system installed.
•They will be getting the system repaired as quickly as they can.
•I got the bill sent direct to the company.

We can also use 'have/got something done' in situations where something bad has happened to people or their possessions. This is not something they wanted to happen.

•John had all his money stolen from his hotel bedroom.
•We had our car damaged by a falling tree.
•I got my nose broken playing rugby.

Exercises here

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What are Prepositional Phrases?

Prepositional phrases are made up of a preposition and what we call the object of the preposition.

The object of the preposition can be a noun, pronoun, gerund, or even a clause.

The objects of the preposition can also have modifiers to help describe it and give additional information.

Example: The ball is behind the white car.

more here

from Advanced English Grammar

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Asylum in the Swiss Mountains

Switzerland decided to open up a military bunker in the remote Jaunpass, in the Bernese Alps, to take pressure off the four reception centres on the country’s borders. Residents are free to come and go as they please. But many locals seem unhappy with the decision.

Click to watch this video.

Friday, September 16, 2011


The link to Swiss News had a glitch.
Try again? I fixed it. It's worth it.

Swiss News

I find this such a great site it is added as a permanent link under the heading General English

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Drunken Moose

A Boozing moose is safely rescued after becoming drunkenly stranded up an apple tree while eating fermented apples.

Read more

Monday, September 12, 2011

Swiss News and Info

Click here to get Switzerland's news -in English- updated daily.

You can change the language choice and re-read the articles to make sure you have understood, or open two windows at the same time, one in English and the other in your mother language.

swissinfo.ch is a branch of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A saying for the day...

When the student
is ready,
the teacher will appear.

~ Siddhārtha Gautama

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fantastic National Geographic Photography

The world is such an amazing place. And there are alot of people out the capturing some of this natural phenomana. I love scrolling through National Geographic's photos. I think you might too.

Click here

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Word of the Day | stupefy


stupefy •\ˈstü-pə-ˌfī, ˈstyü-\• verb

1. make dull or stupid or muddle with drunkenness or infatuation
2. make senseless or dizzy by or as if by a blow
3. be a mystery or bewildering to

An article appeared in the NY Times recently using this word. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Daily English Lesson

Golf is one of those rare games where a lower score is better. Each hole has a number called par, which is how many strokes it should take to complete. If it takes you fewer attempts than par, you’re more likely to beat your opponents.

Not only are Yani Tseng’s scores low, but her age is, too. At 22, she is the youngest man or woman to win five major golf championships. This Taiwanese superstar is currently ranked number 1 in the world, and with the LPGA tour about reach Asia, she was happy to meet with us to discuss her experience learning English and share some useful golf terms.

Click here to listen to the conversation and answer the quiz.

Good Luck and have fun!
Thank you Daily English

The Last of Heidi

Dear students and followers,

I can't resist sharing with you this fabulous Blog, written by someone who really knows how to say it.
Go here to enjoy a day in Savognin as experienced by "Heidi".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Learn English

Elementary English podcast for you.
Follow this site daily and your English will improve for sure!
Brought to you by the British council.
So why not begin?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Matching Words

Have fun and improve your English by playing these matching games online.

Choose any of the games below and try to find the matching pairs. 'Game 1' is the easiest and 'Game 10' is the most difficult.

Begin here

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Advanced practice anyone?

Hi English Learner,

Why not go here and practice a bit more for the Cambridge Certificate Advanced?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

City Guides-Travel Tips & Photos

An insider's guide to the essential city — where to sleep, eat and play.

Select A City

A note from your teacher

Ladies and Gentlemen!
Summer has been shorter than we had hoped, but needless to say,
it's time once again to begin English studies.
I don't know how you are feeling, but I can tell you-I am excited and ready for the challenge! I sincerely hope you are feeling this motivation as well.
See you next week!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Infinitive or -ing?

Sometimes we need to decide whether to use a verb in its:
•-ing form (doing, singing)


•infinitive form (to do, to sing).

For example, only one of the following sentences is correct. Which one?
•I dislike working late. (???)
•I dislike to work late. (???)

When to use the infinitive

The infinitive form is used after certain verbs:
- forget, help, learn, teach, train
- choose, expect, hope, need, offer, want, would like
- agree, encourage, pretend, promise
- allow, can/can't afford, decide, manage, mean, refuse

•I forgot to close the window.
•Mary needs to leave early.
•Why are they encouraged to learn English?
•We can't afford to take a long holiday.

The infinitive form is always used after adjectives, for example:
- disappointed, glad, happy, pleased, relieved, sad, surprised

•I was happy to help them.
•She will be delighted to see you.

This includes too + adjective:
•The water was too cold to swim in.
•Is your coffee too hot to drink?

The infinitive form is used after adjective + enough:
•He was strong enough to lift it.
•She is rich enough to buy two.

When to use -ing

The -ing form is used when the word is the subject of a sentence or clause:
•Swimming is good exercise.
•Doctors say that smoking is bad for you.

The -ing form is used after a preposition:
•I look forward to meeting you.
•They left without saying "Goodbye."

The -ing form is used after certain verbs:
- avoid, dislike, enjoy, finish, give up, mind/not mind, practise

•I dislike getting up early.
•Would you mind opening the window?

Some verbs can be followed by the -ing form or the infinitive without a big change in meaning: begin, continue, hate, intend, like, love, prefer, propose, start. •It started to rain.

•It started raining.
•I like to play tennis.
•I like playing tennis.


I like chicken! I like fish!

Sing-along at the Oxford global sing-along site.

Click here to begin