Sunday, December 30, 2012

Used to, will and would

A look at how we use used to in its various forms and when we can use would instead of used to.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Phrasal verbs based on give

Word image made with Wordle
There are relatively few phrasal verbs based on the verb give, but some of them have more than one meaning. Test your knowledge with these exercises. If you get stuck, you can check their meanings at the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary linked to below (scroll down to Phrasal verbs).

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Christmas quiz

The First Christmas Card (from Wikipedia)

Multifunctional quiz:

There are five sets of questions, each based on a different aspect of Christmas. Use the dropdown selector on the left to select a set.
  • Christmas time
  • Christmas food and drink
  • Santa Claus
  • The Christmas story
  • Decorations
This quiz can be taken interactively online, or teachers can print it out for use in the classroom (see notes for teachers below).
There are four ways to do the quiz. If you're feeling confident, try the text entry version first. If that's too difficult, try the multiple choice or anagrams.
  • Text entry - the most difficult - enter the word from memory
  • Multiple choice - choose from up to four words
  • Anagrams - a bit harder - each word is shown as an anagram
  • Show all words - all the words are shown in a box at the top

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Christmas collocations quiz - vocab game

This game has eight quizzes related to Christmas.
Christmas_decorations_in_a_store_3 (161K)
  • General Christmas
  • Christmas decorations
  • Chritmas verbs
  • Food and drink
  • Christmas carols
  • The Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Winter activities
  • Wintry idioms

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Wintry idioms

Word image made with Wordle

Practise twenty winter idioms based mainly on the words: cold, ice, snow

There are two sets of ten idioms. Each set starts with a matching exercise, followed by two exercises where you first work out the idiom, and then its meaning. Each set ends with an exercise to put the idioms into practice.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hot verbs, empty verbs - Exercises with do, give, have, make, take

A look at some common uses of the verbs
do, give, have, make, take
with lots of exercises for advanced students

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time clauses

The term Time Clause is usually used for adverbial subordinate clauses which link an event in that clause to another event in the main clause in a time relationship. They answer the question when? Time clauses cannot stand alone except as an answer to a question.
  • Mary made lunch after she had done the shopping.
  • When did Mary make lunch?
  • After she had done the shopping.
Time clauses start with a conjunction -
when, whenever, while, once, before, after, as, (ever) since, until, as soon as, now (that), the moment (that)
The time clause can come before or after the main clause. When it comes before, it is usually followed by a comma. But if the main course comes first, no comma is used.
  • After she had done the shopping, Mary made lunch.
  • Mary made lunch after she had done the shopping.
Mainly through the use of exercises, this post deals with:
  • Time clauses - which conjunction to use
  • The use of tenses in time clauses
  • Reducing time clauses
  • Other clauses that express a time relationship

Video lesson - Stonehenge

Stonehenge is one of the oldest structures in Europe and one of the best known prehistoric sites in the world. Watch a History Channel video and do the accompanying exercises. Then to get a good introduction to the whole subject, you can go to the page at Britain Express linked to below.
Photo by thegarethwiscombe at Flickr - some rights reserved

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shiitake mushrooms comedy sketch

Photo by frankenstoen, at Wikimedia
Shiitake (/ʃɪtɑ:kɪ/ or /ʃɪ:tɑ:kɪ/) are edible mushroom native to East Asia, which are cultivated and consumed in many Asian countries, as well as being dried and exported to many countries around the world. They are a feature of many Asian cuisines including Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Thai. In the East, the shiitake mushroom has long been considered a delicacy as well as a medicinal mushroom. (Wikipedia)
They were also the subject of a short sketch in the popular British comedy series, The Catherine Tate Show, featuring Yorkshire couple 'Janice and Ray'.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gradable or ungradable? List of adjectives

Gradable Adjectives

Some people find this site by googling "Is xyz gradable?". Some others are looking for lists of gradable and ungradable adjectives. So I thought I'd try and make a table. This is not meant to be a complete list, but as people ask about other adjectives I'll try and add them to the list.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Phrasal verbs based on take

We use phrasal verbs based on the verb take quite often. Test your knowledge with these exercises. Have a look at the table and try working out their meanings and doing the exercises without looking them up first. But if you get stuck, you can quickly check their meanings at the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary or one of the other websites linked to below.
Phrasal verbs based on take can have a physical sense - take something back somewhere implying that you physically move something or accompany somebody somewhere. They can also have a more metaphorical sense, but still implying this movement - This music takes me back to my childhood, or a completely non-literal sense - She has taken up jogging.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Forming abstract nouns using suffixes

Two quizzes based on a 'bank' of more than 200 abstract nouns. View by base word type or go for a random selection.