Listening: three extracts (multiple choice)

A multiple choice listening with three extracts: a conversation, a discussion between an anthropologist and a comedian and a radio discussion about holiday reading. Just 8 minutes!!

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Listening: Guidebooks

Tim Cole talks about guidebooks for travelling. The exercise includes a multiple choice exercise.

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Listening: home sweet home

Four speakers (multiple choice) home in on moving, their dream home, city centre living, and their home.

Posted in 7 Unit, Listening (exam format) | Leave a comment

Gerund or infinitive?

This is a great visual summary:


Why don’t you practise with songs? Click here

If you want a video explanation there’s a great one on youtube:

For a complete explanation have a look at perfect English grammar.

If you want to test yourself with really quick exercises try exercise 1, exercise 2exercise 3 and exercise 4 (verbs followed by infinitive or gerund) . In this task you won’t have to type anything.  You’ll finish them in the blink of an eye.

Posted in 6 Unit, GRAMMAR, SONGS, Uncategorized, VIDEO | Leave a comment

People talking about recent experiences

Five people talk about their recent experiences and how they felt. A multiple matching exercise in just 9 minutes!

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Mixed conditionals, omission of IF and alternatives


Omission of if with inversion: some theory and practice can be found in grammar quizzes (scroll down for the practice) and english zoneinversion

There are some alternatives to IF (as long as, provided (that), providing, even if, unless) plus some theory.

Mixed conditionals: oup, english page (theory and practice)

Posted in 5 Unit, GRAMMAR | Leave a comment

April fools’ day

The Top 100 April Fool’s Day Hoaxes of All Time

April 1st is known in many Western countries as ‘April Fool’s Day’. The idea is to trick other people, to try to make them believe things that are not true. If you succeed, you shout ‘April fool!’ at the person you have tricked. In honour of April Fool’s Day, this post will look at some words and phrases connected with this custom.

One important thing is to remember that we play tricks on someone (we don’t ‘make’ or ‘do’ them). The tricks are often practical jokes (using actions instead of words), and they are almost always harmless – they are intended to be fun. Other words for this kind of trick are prank or hoax, although the word ‘hoax’ can also be used for more serious, unpleasant tricks in the same way as the words fraud or deceit.

Children often like to kid or dupe (trick) their friends on April Fool’s day with simple jokes such as pretending that their shoelaces are undone or that there is a spider on their head.

However, some April Fool’s hoaxes can be very elaborate (complicated and difficult to do). For example, in 1957, the BBC (the most famous TV company in the UK) made a film about Swiss spaghetti farmers, and showed pictures of people picking spaghetti. The film was very realistic and a lot of people  were taken in (believed it). Some very gullible people (people who believe everything they are told) contacted the BBC because they wanted to buy spaghetti plants – they didn’t realise that the plants were fake (not real)!

Another very plausible (easy to believe) prank was a newspaper article about ‘FatSox’ – socks that were said to absorb fat from a person’s body and make them thin. Most people saw through the trick (realised it was not real), but many others fell for (believed) it and wanted to get a pair.

One common idiom we use to talk about playing gentle tricks is pull someone’s leg. In fact, when people want to say that it’s obvious that someone is trying to trick them, they sometimes say Pull the other one!’ or even Pull the other one – it’s got bells on!.

Strangely, in the UK, April Fool’s Day stops at midday – anyone playing a trick after that becomes the fool! And in France, April Fool’s day is called ‘Poisson d’Avril’  – April fish! Do let me know of any April Fool’s customs you have, or any good April Fool’s tricks you know about!

If you click on the title you’ll see the best ones in history!!

April fool – the language of jokes and tricks

Posted in Special Days, Uncategorized | Leave a comment