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Vocabulary

Actually or Really

Average: 3.5 (21 votes)

Emphatic devices

There are a number of ways of adding emphasis to part of a sentence in English. Actually and really can be used to make part of a sentence or a whole sentence more emphatic.

Actually

Actually is used to introduce something unexpected or to reinforce opinion.
Although she failed the test, she is actually very bright.
Yes, you were right; it was actually an amazing concert.

Guess the jobs

Average: 4.1 (18 votes)

You want something done? You want to explain what you do to people? It's always important to know the names of jobs.

How well do you know these jobs?

Journalist
Librarian
Hairdresser
Cleaner
Policeman
Dentist
Optician
Architect
Plumber
Flight attendant

Here are a few descriptions of what people do, try to guess their job.

Movement vocabulary

Average: 3.6 (17 votes)

There are many words to describe movement in English. Here are a few verbs ones to help you explain movement in a more interesting way.

There are 10 sentences and you should try and guess the correct verb in the correct tense from the ones in the box.

Tap to hit with repeated, gentle blows. "She tapped her pen on the table twice."

–ed or –ing?

Average: 4.2 (28 votes)

It can sometimes be difficult to decide which form of the adjective to use: -ed or -ing. Do I say boring or bored? Here are the rules:

-ed

- ed describes someone's feelings:

I'm bored. Let's do something else. (I feel bored).
You seem bored. Would you like to go to the cinema? (I think you feel bored).

We use -ed for people only.

Verb phrases

Average: 3.4 (14 votes)

Verb phrases in English have the following forms:
A main verb:
We are here
I like her.
Everybody knows Peter.
She laughed.
A verb phrase with only a main verb is expressing the simple aspect.

Phrasal verbs

Average: 4 (15 votes)

Some verbs are made up of two parts; a verb and a particle:
Make + up -...are made up...

Grow + up
He is growing up into a smart young boy.

The particle often gives the verb a new meaning:
Take + in
It's difficult to take in so much information.
It's difficult to remember/absorb so much information.

Introductory It

Average: 3.5 (20 votes)

It is unusual to have an infinitive or a that-clause as the subject of a sentence in English. As an alternative we use 'introductory it' as the subject and put the infinitive or that-clause later.

That the Americans are friendly is a common belief.
It is a common belief that the Americans are friendly.

To be punctual is polite.
It is polite to be punctual.

Homophones

Average: 3.7 (15 votes)

Homophones are words that have the same sound (pronunciation), but different meanings and usually, spelling.

Examples

These words have the same sound, but different meanings and spelling:

I have two brothers. (number)
We’re going to the park. Would you like to come too? (also)

These words have the same sound and spelling, but different meanings:

Linkers

Average: 4.1 (29 votes)

Linkers are words that combine sentences and show the relationship between ideas. Here is an exercise using three basic linkers: and, but and because.

And

We use and to link two related ideas or to add information.

'I like tea and coffee.'
'On Saturday, we went to the park and the cinema.'

But

We use but to show a contrast (link a positive and a negative idea).

Either or / Neither nor

Average: 3.4 (48 votes)

Either …or

We can use either...or to emphasise a choice. (Either…or is used to refer to two things or people.) In most cases 'either' can be omitted.

Here are some examples:
You can either stay here or come with us.
You can stay here or come with us.

It was either John or Peter who received your message.
Either John or Peter received your message.
John or Peter received your message.