If you don't think bad grammar can cost you, think again. In this case, one teeny, tiny, little comma actually cost one company five million dollars. That's one expensive comma! The Serial Comma Strikes Again An Oxford comma, also known as a serial comma, refers to the final comma in a list of items. It … Continue reading The $5 Million Comma: The True Tale of the Oxford Comma Lawsuit
I recently transitioned to online teaching again, so I really needed a way to showcase my original deck of 72 irregular verb flashcards in a digital format. I uploaded them digitally and I now have a fantastic set of digital flashcards to use in my classes and share with ESL teachers around the world. Irregular … Continue reading Digital Flashcards Are Here, and I’m So Flipping Excited!
Happy Women's Month! I am marking the occasion with an English lesson devoted entirely to menstruation. It's not a fun topic, but we do need to talk about it. It comes every month, and usually at the worst possible time. To the poor men who are still reading this, don't leave yet! Talking about periods … Continue reading How To Talk About Your Period in English. Yes, That Period.
Breaking News! ESL Students prefer playing games to studying grammar. Thanks, Captain Obvious. Now, let's really drive it home: Hello, students! Raise your hand if you want to study grammar. (crickets.) Raise your hand if you want to play a game. (48 hands are up in a class of 24.) What have we learned from … Continue reading Variations on 4 Card Games ESL Students Will Flip Over
It might sound simple, but taking 3 to 5 minutes to write a daily reflection following each Zoom lesson is one of the most important ways to boost language acquisition in online learning environments.
The preposition back generally means to return. But there are many different ways you can return something or somewhere! By using phrasal verbs like go back, get back, and come back, you can increase your vocabulary and be more specific in communication. Let's look at a few of these phrasal verbs with back in a fun short story about a trip to a tropical island. At the end of the story, there's a short quiz you can take to see if you really know how to use these return expressions like a pro.
When you have a strong understanding of how to use used to and usually, we can talk about 2 more similar phrases that students find confusing: be used to and get used to.
It's easy to confuse these two terms. They are used when we give or take something that will be returned (Well, we hope it will!) LEND = Give To lend is to give someone something for a short time. Lend requires a direct pronoun (money, a phone, a sweater, etc.) and an indirect object pronoun (me, … Continue reading Borrow or Lend: What’s the difference?
Cats are so funny. You never know what they are really thinking about you, but we can guess from the look on their faces. They make such good expressions! THE BASIC RULE: S0 + ADJECTIVE When SO means "very," it is usually followed by an adjective. It's so hot today.The cats are so funny.She looks … Continue reading So or Such: What’s the difference?
History: The study of past events or people History is a subject that we study in school. We study the history of civilizations, important people, or topics, like the history of art. We only use the word history when referring to major events or people from the past. HIS-tuh-ree I studied art history in college. … Continue reading History vs. Story: What’s the Difference?
Three verbs that are often confusing for English students are feel, fall, and fill, especially when it comes to past tense forms and pronunciation. Let's look at the differences and practice using them. Feel Feel has a hard EEE sound. You need to smile when you say this word, making your mouth wide. Practice this … Continue reading 3 Confusing Verbs and How To Pronounce Them: Feel, Fall, and Fill
I hope everyone is having a very Happy New Year so far! I think 2019 is going to be a great year! This year, I'm looking forward to eating healthier, learning new recipes, getting more exercise, and writing many more lessons for all the English learners out there. How about you? Do you have any plans … Continue reading Expressions with the Verb TO HAVE
These two very common words are easy to confuse. They both relate to a measure of time. However, they have completely different meanings, and it's important to know which one to choose.
Have you ever been robbed? It's a terrible feeling! What did they steal? STEAL and ROB are two words related to crime, but it's good to know which one to use. STEAL A thief steals things. It is an irregular verb. (STEAL<< STOLE>>STOLEN) A thief might steal your cell phone, your wallet, or even your … Continue reading Steal vs. Rob: Crime Vocabulary
When talking about travel, it's easy to confuse the phrasal verbs go back and come back. They both mean to return. So what's the difference? It's actually very simple. It all depends on where you are at the time of speaking. For example, if you are from Italy, but you are in California right now, you would say: I'm going … Continue reading Go Back or Come Back: What’s the Difference?
Use GO with another -ING verb when you talk about activities and sports. Do you want to go surfing in California?There are some beautiful places to go sightseeing here, too!Have you ever gone wine tasting in Italy? Team sports (soccer, basketball) typically use the verb to play. Sports that are done individually usually use to go. For more information about the verbs go, play, and … Continue reading Expressions with the Verb TO GO
The verb TO DO is very useful when talking about general actions. We use it to ask about activities, as in: What do you want to do tonight? (However, a different verb is used to answer the question.) I want to watch the sunset. I want to spend time with my friends. I want to walk on the beach. Do is also … Continue reading Expressions with the Verb TO DO