B2 · C1 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

Confusing words: remember/remind

Here’s an entry on two words that very often confuse learners of English. In Spanish and Catalan both verbs ‘remind’ and ‘remember’ are mostly covered by recuerda (Spanish) and record (Catalan) like in Recuerdo haber dejado las llaves sobre la mesa or Recuérdale a Jorge que llame a su madre. However, in English here we’d use different verbs, I remember leaving the keys on top of the table and Remind Jorge to call his mother. Things can even get a little worse in the case of ‘remember’ and its different verb patterns that change the meaning like in the examples below.

I remember leaving my keys on the table. (I have a mental picture of me doing this in the past)

I remembered to leave my keys on the table. (I didn’t forget to do this)

If you click on the lesson, you’ll get a short presentation on how to use both verbs. Afterwards, you can practise by doing the sentence completion task filling in the missing words.

Click here for the lesson

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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.
Click for the quiz
A1 · A2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

Vocabulary: vegetables

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

A1 · A2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

Vocabulary: fruit

bunch of grapes

Here you have two fruit vocabulary activities with some of the most common types of fruit you’ll find at any greengrocer’s, street market or supermarket.

Look at the picture and flip the card to see the word, the card includes a phonetic transcription in British English which is a good way to become familiar with English sounds. It would be nice to include an audio with the words, but the program doesn’t allow me to upload audio files.

In the second link you can do a short quiz that will also help you learn how to give simple descriptions and learn some  taste/flavour vocabulary.

Click for vegetable slides

click for quiz

B1 · B2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

Confusing words: ache/hurt/pain/damage

Ache

Ache (verb) meaning that a part of your body hurts in a continuous and dull way. Ache (noun) referring to a continuous dull pain. This word is usually used in combination with the part of body that is in pain.

  • Stomach ache, toothache, headache, or my stomach aches.

Hurt

Hurt (verb transitive and intransitive) to cause physical pain to yourself/somebody. This verb doesn’t give information on the type of pain/ache it only explains that somebody is in a certain degree of pain or that somebody/something is causing it.

Hurt (verb transitive and intransitive) to cause physical pain to yourself/somebody. This verb doesn’t give information on the type of pain/ache it only explains that somebody is in a certain degree of pain or that somebody/something is causing it.

We can also use hurt when it involves somebody’s feelings when we mean that somebody or a situation has made somebody unhappy or upset.

  • Stop! You’re hurting me!
  • Yesterday I fell over. Now my leg hurts/I hurt my leg.
  • This shoes are too tight and hurt my feet.
  • I’m sorry! I didn’t want to hurt his feelings when I criticized his work.

Pain

Pain (noun) Not usually used as a verb. Meaning referring to physical suffering in general, often more severe than ‘ache’, used with parts of the body. e.g. pain in my leg, arm, shoulder etc.

  • He was clearly in pain.
  • This should help relieve the pain.

Damage

Damage can be a verb. When we use this word we mean that something physical has been done (usually to an object or a quality) and that the object is now, ruined, less attractive or is not working properly.

  • The flood damaged her house.
  • Smoking damages people’s health.

We can also use damage as a noun. It refers to the physical harm caused by an external agent. We usually use this noun with objects, but it is also used when we are talking about health or physical conditions.

  • The car accident has caused sever brain damage.
  • Luckily, the storm didn’t cause much damage to the roof.
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A1 · A2 · Vocabulary · vocabulary activity

A1/A2 Pre-intermediate Vocabulary for free time

Hello! Here’s an activity for beginners with  some vocabulary for free time activities.

How to use? Click on the link. Look at the picture and try to guess the word. After flip the card to see if you guessed the correct word.

Click here