A1 · A2 · Grammar · Grammar activity

A1/A2 Countable and uncountable nouns

Countable and uncountable nouns in English are on many occasions sort of confusing and sometimes beginners need some picture activities to help them memorize some of the words in English that are uncountable. It may be a bit of a drag, but as a matter of fact, if you don´t know them you will have some problems when you have to use determiners like `much and many`.  Here´s a quick drag-and-drop quiz to help remember some of the rules.

Click for quiz

A2 · B1 · Grammar

1st Conditional game

Oh! This week we’re going to do some work on conditionals. So, just to get this structure under our belt, I’ve set up this fun activity with Wheel decide.

How to play? Click on the wheel and see what you get for the question ‘What will you do if …?

Write down the sentence and spend a minute thinking about your answer, afterwards tell the class.

Example:

What will you do if the person you love asks you out?

Possible answers: If the person I love asks me out, I will go crazy/faint/be extremely happy/buy myself something very smart/go to the hairdresser’s to look great.

Click for Wheel

A2 · B1 · B2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

Confusing words: dish/meal/recipe

Many students get these word wrong and since I’ve uploaded some vocabulary for ingredients, it may be a good idea to go over them or learn them.

Dish

The word dish when used as a noun and not a verb, has two meanings. One is the type of recipient we use for putting food on. A dish is usually shallow or almost flat, so for a soup we would rather use a bowl.

  • Nothing like a nice dish of pasta!
  • Who broke the glass dish?
  • He was awarded a silver dish for his fortieth anniversary in the company .

The second way of using the word ‘dish’ is when we are talking about a special recipe and way to prepare it. Usually these dishes have a special name that might or might not give us any information about the ingredients. Some examples are: paella, roast beef, lasagne, Welsh rarebit, haggis, etc.

  • What’s your favourite dish?
  • Paella isn’t the only Spanish dish you can have in Spain. This country has a wide variety of traditional dishes from all over the country.
  • I can recommend the chef’s dish of the day.
  • What shall we have for main dish?

There is another use for the word dish, but nobody seems to like using it after having a meal. Saying ‘doing the dishes’ or ‘ the dishes’ has a funny effect on people and it must be magical because people just seem to disappear. 🙂 Notice that here we use this word in the plural form.

  • Who’s going to help me do the dishes?
  • It’s not fair. I did the dishes yesterday!

Meal

This is a general word for the food we eat during the day, when it isn’t a snack (for instance, a packet of crips isn’t a meal no matter what some people may claim). A meal could be breakfast, luch, dinner or supper ( by the way, I’ll post something about these names for meals a little later on). And the main meal of the day depends where you are from. Some people in England have their main meal in the evening while in Spain it is usually in the afternoon.

  • I try not to eat between meals.
  • Next Saturday we’re going out for a meal at that really posh restaurant they have just opened.

Recipe

Recipe refers to the way in which we choose to prepare a meal. A recipe usually is a set of instructions telling us how to cook something and what ingredients we need. For example, if I want to prepare a traditional dish like paella, because I want to serve this for lunch (a meal), I may need the recipe to make sure I do it properly.

  • Can I get the recipe for that delicious chocolate cake you made the other day?
  • I’ve lost the recipe book and I can’t remember the amount of flour I will need.
A1 · A2 · Vocabulary

Vegetable vocabulary

baked potato
Tasty, baked potato or jacket potato, topped with butter and cheese. Delicious!

Yes, it’s January and many of us want to get back to healthy eating, after all those feasts and celebrations! It’s probably time to cut down on fatty foods and start replacing the ready-made products for healthier ingredients like fruit and vegetables.

It’s also a good time to speak in the English classroom about what we had for our special meals and learn about other people’s traditional customs and it is precisely now, when I discover (to my horror! I’m kidding 🙂 ) that my students say something like /begeteibel/ instead of
/ˈvedʒtəbl/.

This is because in English you can find quite a few samples of letters in a word that are not pronounced and the word ‘vegetable’ is one of them. Another not so serious problem with this word is that the sound /v/ doesn’t exist in Spanish and all the ‘vs’ are pronounced like ‘bs’. Here’s some ‘begeteible’ vocabulary to start you off with something to use when speaking about food.

Click for vocabulary slides

click for vocabulary quiz