Vocabulary and Grammar

By admin No comments

Bonus English Lessons – VocabularySent Monday, July 1, 2013  Hello again. At long last, the summer has arrived here. After being cold for so long, I am now struggling to sleep at night because it is too hot.  I am never satisfied 🙂 From my balcony, I have a wonderful view of the mountains on […]

Back again ;-)

By admin 1 comment

Sorry about the long gap. I have been having big problems with my eyes. Here is a listening activity with three exercises. http://englishgrammarsecrets.com/exercises/listening/menu.php   admin Please enter the biographical info from the user profile screen.


By admin 21 comments

You probably know that the verb like can be followed by either the -ing form or by an infinitive. I like going to the cinema I like to see all the latest movies. Often these two forms mean exactly the same thing but there can be a difference between them. When we use like to […]


By admin 19 comments

Just can be used as an adjective. It is related to the idea of  ‘justice’ and usually means ‘proper’ or ‘correct’. He is a just man. I think their punishment was just. There is an expression just deserts which means that someone got the punishment they deserved. Twenty years in prison? I think he got […]

Word Grammar – Know

By admin 10 comments

Know can be used as a noun in a couple of expressions. If you are in the know you have been told confidential information. For those of you not already in the know, Jane and I are getting married. If you have know-how. you have expertise. Does he have the technical know-how to work on this project? […]

Questions and Answers

By admin 9 comments

Here are some ways of dealing with questions when you are the SPEAKER: When you don’t want to answer: To be honest, I’m not really the person to ask about that. When someone interrupts you: Sorry, could I just finish? When you finally understand what they want to know: Oh I see. So what you […]


By admin 8 comments

We can use let to mean to rent out a house. We moved to Australia and let our house in London. A major use of let is for talking about ‘allowing’ and ‘permission’. My mother let me come. I let her leave early. One pattern is let followed by an OBJECT followed by a BARE INFINITIVE She let […]

Answering/not answering questions

By admin 9 comments

Here are some useful expressions for when you are making a presentation or talk, perhaps in a meeting or in a congress or perhaps more informally in a discussion around the coffee machine. Or, if you work at Google, over the table football or going down the slide 😉 Are there any questions? That is […]

Giving yourself time to think

By admin 14 comments

When people ask you questions, you often need time to think before you reply. Or perhaps you don’t know the answer or the information is confidential. Here are some ways in which you can pause for thought or block questions.. That’s a very interesting question. That’s a very interesting question. Let me think about it […]

Asking a speaker for clarification 2

By admin 4 comments

Sometimes you can only ask questions at the end of a presentation. In that case, you need to refer back to the point in the talk you need clarification on. Here are some useful expressions to help you do that: First focus on the point you want to discuss You talked about You talked about […]

Asking for clarification

By admin 10 comments

When we are talking to somebody, we don’t always understand everything they say. There are two useful techniques for dealing with this. Firstly, we can simply ask them to repeat what they said. Could you say that again please? I didn’t follow that. Could you repeat it? Secondly, we can ask them to say again […]

Softening 2

By admin 7 comments

This is a very simple idea but we find that our students have a lot of problems doing it. So the explanation is very short but we are giving a lot of practice activities.   If you use a negative adjective, it can sound aggressive and insulting. You are small. It’s dirty. He is stupid. […]

Softening 1

By admin 16 comments

Sometimes you want to soften the impact of what you are saying and give it less importance. Here are some ways to do that: Little The quality could have been a little better. The speaker should have spoken a little louder. Slight There is a slight problem we need to deal with. I have a […]

Word Grammar – ‘about’

By admin 28 comments

About We can use about to mean ‘concerning’ I have heard all about it. There is nothing we can do about it. The great thing about her is that she never gives up. We can use about to mean ‘approximately’. We can also use around for this but about is less formal. About six hundred people were present. About half the people agreed. […]

More Emphasis Collocations

By admin 15 comments

Here are some more word partnerships that you can use to emphasize your point. openly admit I openly admit that I have made mistakes. If they openly admit that they were at fault, they may get the public back on their side. totally agree I totally agree with what Susan said. I totally agree with […]

Emphasis collocations

By admin 13 comments

You often need to emphasize  a point you are making. Here are some useful word-partnerships you can use to do that.  a total disaster The whole project was a total disaster from beginning to end. extremely good We have an extremely good chance of getting the contract. a terrible mistake It wasn’t a minor error. […]

More Human Resources Phrasal Verbs

By admin 16 comments

‘get on’ = to have a good relationship I don’t like my boss. We just don’t get on. The atmosphere is terrible. He doesn’t get on with his co-workers. ‘follow up’ = to find out more about or take further action on something. Before we offer her the job, we need to follow up on her references. […]

Human Resources Phrasal Verbs

By admin 9 comments

Learn the most common phrasal verbs used in Human Resources in English: ‘close down’ = to shut We have closed down the small local branches and created bigger regional offices. The factory closed down in the 1970’s because it was too expensive to produce here. ‘fight against’ = to make an effort to stop something happening All […]

Time off – expressions

By admin 12 comments

Learn the vocabulary to talk about being absent from jobs in English: to take time off = to be absent from work, at home or on vacation. I’m going to take a few days off to visit my parents. I’m taking Monday off to go to the dentist and do some jobs at home. to take […]

Expressions concerned with ‘change’

By admin 5 comments

Learn the vocabulary in English to talk about the many changes that take place in a company or organization : ‘to promote’ = to move someone up to a higher position in the organization. He handed his notice in last month when he didn’t get promoted to senior manager. She wants to be promoted to supervisor […]