A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Confusing words: travel – trip – journey

travel/trip/ journey

travel (uncountable noun) term used to refer to the act or activity of travelling.

travel (verb intransitive transitive)  to go from one place to another. When meaning long distances, we usually use travel instead of trip. We also use this word when we talk about travelling for a reason such as work, etc.

  • I love travelling – I’d love to travel around the world – Tomorrow I have to get up early. I’m travelling.

trip (countable noun) an excursion or a journey somewhere and back, especially for pleasure.

  • We went on a boat trip to the island.

journey (countable noun) the act of travelling from one place and another. Here the focus is placed on talking about what happens between the beginning and ending of these points. For example, if going from Madrid to Paris on a train, you enjoyed it because it was quick, you had a good meal and a nice nap, you would say something like ‘your journey was nice’. But if you had bad weather, the food was horrible and the person on the seat next to you, kept dropping off, snoring almost all the way, you’d probably say that your ‘journey was horrible’.

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A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary

Confusing words: say – tell

say/ tell

Both are verb associated to communication but both are used quite differently. Look at some of the examples of how to use these words.

say

say something/say something to somebody/say  as a reporting verb.

  • Ask him to say something in English.
  • She didn’t say anything to him about the party
  • She said that she liked it very much.

Say in impersonal passive structures

  • It is said that many lost their lives in WWII

Say + what/how/when/why

  • He didn’t say why he had come.

Tell

 tell somebody something / tell somebody to do something

  • She told him a bedtime story
  • They told me to get the job done as soon as possible.

tell somebody about something/tell a joke or a story

  • The company manager told them about the strike.
  • Mike told us this really funny joke.

We don’t  use say to somebody.

  • She said to me that I couldn’t go. She told me that I couldn’t go.

It is much more common to use ‘tell’ for orders

  • The fireman told us to be careful.

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A2 · B1 · Listening · songs

Jeff Lynne’s ELO When I Was a Boy

The song I have chosen here is  a song by Jeff Lynne ‘When I was a boy’ to learn how to speak about the past, the dreams and the hopes we had as children. As the lyrics say, the person singing says that as a boy all he really wanted to do was to pick up his guitar and play music. Money wasn’t important because there were other things that made him happy, like listening to the radio and dreaming about his future.

What dreams did you have when you were a child?

A2 · B1 · B2 · Grammar · Grammar activity

Another way to learn irregular verbs

errorman

One way to learn irregular verbs is to divide them into groups.

According to some grammar books, irrregular English verbs DO seem to have some type of regularity.  Here are some tips along with a couple of activities.

 

 

CLASS 1

In this group, verbs remain nearly the same and change final -d for -t.

For example: build> built > built.

CLASS 1 ACTIVITY

CLASS 2

Verbs are the same in Past Simple and Past Participle, receive an -d/-ed/t suffix but change one or more vowels.

For example: leave > left> left

CLASS 2 ACTIVITY

CLASS 3

In this group the Past Simple usually has -ed but the Past Participle had -(e)n.

This is a small group and I suppose I’ll be adding some more if I can remember any.

For example: show > showed > shown

CLASS 3 ACTIVITY

CLASS 4

The past tense doesn’t have a suffix although it may change a vowel, but the Past Participle has an -(e)n suffix and the base vowel changes or both changes may happen.

For example: give > gave > given

CLASS 4 ACTIVITY

CLASS 5

In this group the vowel changes in one or both. There are no other changes.

For example: begin > began > begun

CLASS 5 ACTIVITY

CLASS 6

All the verbs are the same!

For example: put > put > put

CLASS 6 ACTIVITY

CLASS 7

One or both of the forms is/are completely different.

For example: go > went > gone – Be > was/were > been

 

A2 · B1 · Grammar activity

Irregular verbs in past simple

going crazy

Feel like pulling your hair out with English irregular verbs? Well, for God’s sake don’t pull them out with irregular verbs it may be painful! (That was a translation from Spanish.  You should pull them out due to/because of irregular verbs). 

Maybe the best way to deal with them is to learn them by heart (I hate memorizing stuff!),  although there might be another way, I don’t know about.  I would even say that it is better to learn both, the past simple and the past participle together (yes, the ones in the third column at the end of your Student’s book). This may seem a pretty daunting activity, but if you set yourself to learning, for example five of them a week, in two months you will have learnt forty of  the most important ones, which isn’t too bad, is it? 

Click here for the activity

 

A1 · A2 · Grammar · Grammar activity

Present simple for routine and days of the week

What do you do during the weekdays and the weekend?

Here’s a slide with some examples of positive and negative statements using the present simple. You have two different links. The first is for the grammar and the second is to do an activity.

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Activity

Sentence completion