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In the news: Philae, Rosetta and the comet

Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

Read this news article and pay particular attention to the orange words.

Ten years ago the European Space Agency launched a robot probe called Philae. Its mission was to travel six billion kilometres and land on a four kilometre wide comet that travels 130,000 kilometres an hour.

Amazingly, the Philae probe successfully landed on the surface of the comet seven hours after descending from its mother ship Rosetta.

Quantifiers for uncountable nouns

Average: 4 (20 votes)

Take a look at these two questions:

How much milk do you drink?

How many cartons of milk do buy a week?

Why do we use much in the first qustion and many in the second?

Milk is an uncountable (non-countable) noun like water, snow and rice.

Cartons of milk are countable so we use many. Other countable nouns include people, houses and pens.

Understanding Questions

Average: 3.8 (23 votes)

Hello, how are you today? Do you want to improve your English?

Let's practise giving the correct responses to the questions we are asked. To do that we must understand the question. 

For example, if Spain is the answer, what is the question?:

1) Where are you from?
2) Which are you from?
3) What are you from?

The correct answer is:

Where are you from?
(I'm from) Spain

Movie Review: Interstellar

Average: 4.2 (11 votes)

Read this short review of the movie Interstellar. Pay particular attention to the words in bold:

Inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey, Interstellar is a new science fiction movie about a team of space travellers who journey through a wormhole in search of a new habitable planet.

Had Better

Average: 3.8 (33 votes)

Had Better for specific advice

Had better is used to give advice about specific things (use should for general advice). It is followed by the infinitive without to.

We'd better take something to eat or we will be hungry later.
It's getting late. You'd better leave now or you will miss your bus.
I'd better go to bed, I have to be up early tomorrow.

Five 'Cut' Expressions

Average: 4.3 (16 votes)

Cut down

Cut down means to use less or do less of something.

You should cut down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke.

I've cut down on how much coffee I drink. I used to drink five cups a day, now I drink two.

We're cutting down on the amount of paper we use in the office.

Cut out

To completely stop eating something, usually for health reasons.

My doctor recommended I cut out salt from my diet.

Is working at night bad for you?

Average: 3.5 (13 votes)

A new study has found that it is better for you to work 'normal' fixed hours, like a 9-to-5 job, than shift work, where your hours change from day to day or week to week.

The study published in the journal, 'Occupational and Environmental Medicine' found that long-term shift work can age your brain, cause memory loss, reduce processing speed and result in a decline in overall brain function.

'Will be doing' future continuous

Average: 4.3 (15 votes)

Use 'will be -ing' to talk about something that will be happening at a particular time in the future. Will be + 'ing' is the future continuous tense.

This time tomorrow, we'll be flying to Australia.

Don't phone me after 11pm because I'll be sleeping.

We'll be painting our new apartment all weekend.

She'll be leaving straight after breakfast.

This time next year, I will be rich!

Now try this future continuous quiz:

Happy Halloween!

Average: 4.8 (11 votes)

Read through this short story. Which words do you think are missing?

Jennifer loved Halloween when she was young. One year she and her friends put on their Halloween costumes and went _1_ for sweets around the neighbourhood. That year Jennifer dressed up as a _2_ with a big black pointy hat, broomstick and long black dress.

Most Popular Lessons of the Month

Average: 4.3 (8 votes)

Have you tried all these? These were the most popular lessons of the month on our Learn English site.

What do you think is our most useful lesson? Leave a link to it below.

Thanks for visiting, we hope we can help you improve your English wherever you are in the world.

1 - English Grammar Tenses →

The basic tenses we need to talk about the present, past and future.