Monday, June 15, 2015

Present Perfect Continuous (Listening)

Have been +ing

This tense is used to talk about an action or actions that started in the past and continued until recently or that continue into the future:

We can use it to refer to an action that has finished but you can still see evidence.
  • Oh, the kitchen is a mess. Who has been cooking?
  • You look tired. Have you been sleeping properly?
  • I've got a a stiff neck. I've been working too long on computer.
It can refer to an action that has not finished.
  • I've been learning Spanish for 20 years and I still don't know very much.
  • I've been waiting for him for 30 minutes and he still hasn't arrived.
  • He's been telling me about it for days. I wish he would stop.
It can refer to a series of actions.
  • She's been writing to her regularly for a couple of years.
  • He's been phoning me all week for an answer.
  • The university has been sending students here for over twenty years to do work experience.
The present perfect continuous is often used with 'since', 'for', 'all week', 'for days', 'lately', 'recently', 'over the last few months'.
  • I've been wanting to do that for ten years.
  • You haven't been getting good results over the last few months.
  • They haven't been working all week. They're on strike
  • He hasn't been talking to me for weeks.
  • We've been working hard on it for ages.
  • I've been looking at other options recently.
  • He's been working here since 2001.

Who Say What

Match the sentences

Reorganize the sentences

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Present Perfect (listening)

(Please note that British and American English have different rules for the use of this tense. The explanation and exercises here refer to British English. In American English, it is often acceptable to use the past simple in some of these examples.)
We use the present perfect when we want to look back from the present to the past.
We can use it to look back on the recent past.
  • I've broken my watch so I don't know what time it is.
  • They have cancelled the meeting.
  • She's taken my copy. I don't have one.
  • The sales team has doubled its turnover.
When we look back on the recent past, we often use the words 'just' 'already' or the word 'yet' (in negatives and questions only).
  • We've already talked about that.
  • She hasn't arrived yet.
  • I've just done it.
  • They've already met.
  • They don't know yet.
  • Have you spoken to him yet?
  • Have they got back to you yet?
It can also be used to look back on the more distant past.
  • We've been to Singapore a lot over the last few years.
  • She's done this type of project many times before.
  • We've mentioned it to them on several occasions over the last six months.
  • They've often talked about it in the past.
When we look back on the more distant past, we often use the words 'ever' (in questions) and 'never'.
  • Have you ever been to Argentina?
  • Has he ever talked to you about the problem?
  • I've never met Jim and Sally.
  • We've never considered investing in Mexico.

True or False

Listen and Match

Complete the Dialogue

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Simple Past (Listening)

Click on what you heard

True or False

Complete the dialogue

Monday, May 25, 2015

Would (listening)

What Would You Do

If, if, if....

True or False

Listen and complete the sentences

Listen and reorganize the sentences

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Past Simple Tense

We use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past.
We can use it to talk about a specific point in time.
  • She came back last Friday.
  • I saw her in the street.
  • They didn't agree to the deal.
It can also be used to talk about a period of time.
  • She lived in Tokyo for seven years.
  • They were in London from Monday to Thursday of last week.
  • When I was living in New York, I went to all the art exhibitions I could.
You will often find the past simple used with time expressions such as these:
  • Yesterday
  • three weeks ago
  • last year
  • in 2002
  • from March to June
  • for a long time
  • for 6 weeks
  • in the 1980s
  • in the last century
  • in the past

Complete the Sentences

Fill in the brackets

Put in Order

Monday, May 4, 2015

Second Conditional IF

The Second Conditional is used to talk about 'impossible' situations.

  • If we were in London today, we would be able to go to the concert in Hyde Park.
  • If I had millions dollars, I'd give a lot to charity.
  • If there were no hungry people in this world, it would be a much better place.
  • If everyone had clean water to drink, there would be a lot less disease.

Note that after I / he/ she /it we often use the subjunctive form 'were' and not 'was'. (Some people think that 'were' is the only 'correct' form but other people think 'was' is equally 'correct' .)

  • If she were happy in her job, she wouldn't be looking for another one.
  • If I lived in Japan, I'd have sushi every day.
  • If they were to enter our market, we'd have big problems.

Note the form 'If I were you' which is often used to give advice.

  • If I were you, I'd look for a new place to live.
  • If I were you, I'd go back to school and get more qualifications.

The Second Conditional is also used to talk about 'unlikely' situations.

  • If I went to China, I'd visit the Great Wall.
  • If I was the President, I'd reduce taxes.
  • If you were in my position, you'd understand.

Note that the choice between the first and the second conditional is often a question of the speaker's attitude rather than of facts. Compare these examples. Otto thinks these things are possible, Peter doesn't.

  • Otto – If I win the lottery, I'll buy a big house.
  • Peter – If I won the lottery, I'd buy a big house.
  • Otto – If I get promoted, I'll throw a big party.
  • Peter – If I got promoted, I'd throw a big party.
  • Otto – If my team win the Cup, I'll buy champagne for everybody.
  • Peter – If my team won the Cup, I'd buy champagne for everybody.

Note that the 'If clause' can contain the past simple or the past continuous.

  • If I was still working in Brighton, I would commute by train.
  • If she were coming, she would be here by now.
  • If they were thinking of selling, I would want to buy.

Note that the main clause can contain 'would' 'could' or 'might.

  • If I had the chance to do it again, I would do it differently.
  • If we met up for lunch, we could go to that new restaurant.
  • If I spoke to him directly, I might be able to persuade him.

Also note that sometimes the 'if clause' is implied rather than spoken.

  • What would I do without you? ("if you weren't here")
  • Where would I get one at this time of night? ("if I wanted one")
  • He wouldn't agree. ("if I asked him")


Right or Wrong

Read and Complete

Put in Order

The Warehouse (IF, Listening)

If, if, if....

Click on what you hear

Listen and match

Regorganize the dialogues

Monday, April 27, 2015

Multiple Word Verbs

Mix and Match

Complete the Sentences

Match up the Sentences

Match the Verbs and Definition

Mix and Match

Put in Order

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Too Much?

Match the Sentences

Complete the Sentences

Choose the correct answer

The Contract (Listening)

The Contract

Who said what

Match up the sentences

Complete the dialogues

Monday, April 20, 2015

Checking the Numbers (Listening)

Could, Describing Changes


'Could' is used to make polite requests. We can also use 'can' for these but 'could' is more polite.
  • Could you help me, please?
  • Could you lend me some money?
  • Could I have a lift?
  • Could I bother you for a moment?
If we use 'could' in reply to these requests, it suggests that we do not really want to do it. If you agree to the request, it is better to say 'can'.
  • Of course I can.
  • I could help you if it's really necessary but I'm really busy right now.
  • I could lend you some money but I'd need it back tomorrow without fail.
  • I could give you a lift as far as Birmingham.
'Could' is used to talk about theoretical possibility and is similar in meaning to 'might'.
  • It could rain later. Take an umbrella.
  • He could be there by now.
  • Could he be any happier?
  • It could be Sarah's.

Describing Changes

When we talk about changes, we often need to point out how big or rapid these changes have been. To do this, we need to use adjectives.


Sunday, April 19, 2015

(Beginners Level) Numbers (listening), Can, Cause and Effect



We use 'can' to talk about 'possibility'.
  • Can you do that?
  • I can't manage to do that.
  • You can leave your car in that parking space.
  • You cannot smoke in here.
Notice that there are two negative forms: 'can't' and 'cannot'. These mean exactly the same thing. When we are speaking, we usually say 'can't'.
We use 'can' to talk about 'ability'.
  • I can speak French.
  • I can't drive.
We use 'can' to ask for and give permission. (We also use 'may' for this but is more formal and much less common.)
  • Can I speak to you or are you too busy?
  • You can use my phone.
  • You can't come in.
We use 'can' in offers, requests and instructions.
  • Can I help?
  • Can you give me a hand?
  • When you finish that, you can take out the garbage.
We use 'can' with 'see' 'hear' 'feel' 'smell' 'taste' to talk about something which is happening now . (Where you would use the present continuous with most other verbs.)
  • I can smell something burning.
  • Can you hear that noise?
  • I can't see anything.
We can use 'can't' for deduction. The opposite of 'can't' in this context is 'must'.
  • You can't be hungry. You've just eaten.
  • You must be hungry. You haven't eaten anything all day.
  • He was in London one hour ago when I spoke to him. He can't be here yet.

Cause and Effect

When you are giving a presentation, your job is to not only present the facts but also to give the reasons (why), the purpose (objectives) and the results.
In a presentation, the language used is often very simple, much simpler than if we were writing.
For example:
  • We sold the land because we needed to release the cash.
  • We closed the offices in London because they were too expensive to run.
  • We set up the team to look at possible ways to improve efficiency.
  • We sold the land to get necessary capital for investment.

    • We sold the land and had enough cash to invest in new equipment.
    • We expanded the sales network and sales increased.

Monday, March 30, 2015

All about all

I don’t think we need to spend too long on the basic grammar patterns with ALL.
It can be used with plurals and uncountable nouns
  • All the children were invited to a big party.
  • All sugar drinks rot your teeth.
  • All (of) the cats have been taken to the vet.
  • Thank you for all (of) your help.
ALL plus THE/THIS/MY etc. can be used with singular nouns.
  • I have read all the book.
  • Did you eat all your lunch?
  • I can’t finish all this work today.
ALL is also used to qualify adjectives, adverbs and prepositions
  • The children are all excited.
  • There is dirt all over the house.
  • They shouted all excitedly.
AT ALL means in any way or of any kind. It is often used in negative sentences.
  • Is there anything at all to do here in the winter months?
  • I am not at all happy to find out about that.
FOR ALL can mean despite.
  • For all his faults, I still quite like him.
FOR ALL I KNOW/CARE suggests that you are not concerned about something or someone.
  • For all I know, she could be living in Paraguay.
  • For all I care, the dollar could lose half its value.
FIRST OF ALL is an expression used to emphasise the start of a speech  or presentation
  • First of all, I would like to thank our hosts for this splendid evening.
  • First of all, we need to look at the economic impact.
AFTER ALL means that we have reconsidered our options.
  • We decided to take the later train after all. We needed extra time to pack.
ALL IN ALL is used to sum up.
  • All in all, it has been a very successful meeting.
BY ALL MEANS is a way of giving permission
  • By all means, leave early today. You have been working so hard.
ALL ALONG means all the time.
  • I knew he couldn’t be trusted all along.
To GET AWAY FROM IT ALL means to go somewhere to escape from your usual routine
  • I visit a remote island in Scotland when I need to get away from it all.
IF IT’S ALL THE SAME TO YOU is used to mean if it makes no difference/doesn’t offend.
  • Thank you for inviting me to stay with you but if it is all the same to you I would prefer to stay in a hotel in the center of the city so that I can explore a bit.
ONCE AND FOR ALL means for one final time.
  • I am telling you once and for all. We are not going to agree to that.
To be ALL FOR DOING IT means that you are strongly in favor.
  • I am all for rejecting their offer. It is not good enough.
If it is ALL IN YOUR MIND, you are imagining something.
  • His doctor told him that he wasn’t really ill and it was all in his mind.
ALL YEAR ROUND means all the year.
  • The resort is open all year round, skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer.
ALL OF A SUDDEN means immediately, without warning
  • All of a sudden, the speaker fainted and fell to the floor.
WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE is used to sum up a discussion and to point out the most important point.
  •  When all is said and done, we cannot afford to sell at a price that is lower than our cost price.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Under a cloud / Under the weather - English Phrases

Under a cloud / Under the weather

Under a cloud 

Meaning: Ppl dont trust u because they think u have done something bad

- He left the company under a cloud after some money went missing.
- Although the police decided not to prosecute her, she remains under a cloud.

Under the weather

Meaning: to be ill

- Robert is under the weather and wont be joining us today.
- I am feeling a bit under the weather. I think I'll go home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Deal a blow and Blow a deal - English Phrases

Deal a blow and Blow a deal

We are going to look at two different expressions today. They look similar but mean two completely things.
DEAL A BLOW means to cause major problems to someone or something, often an idea or project.
The information that he has been in prison has dealt a serious blow to his chances of becoming Mayor.
The bad trade news has dealt a blow to the economy.
Losing its star player has dealt a blow to United’s chances of winning the Cup.

BLOW A DEAL means to not get a contract. It is the opposite of CUT A DEAL.
You blew the deal when you asked them for the payment in advance.
I don’t want to blow the deal by putting too much pressure on them.
If we blow this deal, we will go out of business.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Cut a deal - English Phrase

Cut a deal

If you CUT A DEAL, you make an arrangement.
This was originally just a US expression but it is one that many Brits also use, even old ones like me :-)
It is INFORMAL language
  • After hours of negotiation, we were able to cut a deal.
  • His lawyer cut a deal with the prosecutor and kept him out of jail.
Who have you cut a deal with recently?

Everything just fell into place - English Phrase

Everything just fell into place
Sometimes when we are organizing an event, everything can go wrong. However well we plan things, they don’t work out very well.
But on other occasions, things seem to work out just fine, even without much effort on our part.  Everything is satisfactory,without problems.
  • Everything just seems to just fall into place.
Sometimes a new person can organize things much better.
  • When Lindsey took over the arrangements, everything just seemed to fall into place.
Sometimes new information helps you to better understand information you already had.
  • When I found out he was married to my doctor, suddenly everything fell into place.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Telephoning (listening)

Flight to Caracas

Click on the numbers you hear:

Complete the dialogue:

Reorganize the text:


Date change

What is the problem?

True or False

Click on the best response


Not in the office

Who wants to speak to who

Who says what?

Put in the correct order


Take the message

Listen and complete the dialogue

Listen and write the expressions

Sunday, March 15, 2015

to be or being (with listening)

The annual conference

Click on what you hear:

Listen and match:

Complete the conversation:

The budget

True and false:

Complete the sentences:

Put the words in order:

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