120 Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes to Avoid
a) Translate fifteen phrasal verbs connected with diet and fitness below. Read the dialogue then complete each gap with the correct form of one of the phrasal verbs:
Doreen is talking to her good friend Barbara at a bus stop:
Doreen: ‘You know, Bar, I just can’t seem to 1. _______________. It doesn’t matter what I do. I 2. _______________ for that gym in December, the one that I told you about, and I’ve been 3. _______________ there really intensively, you know, to try and 4. _______________ the calories – honest! – but it’s just no use. When I get home from work there’s my husband Bazza tucking into a lovely chicken sandwich, and I can’t help but join him. After that I might fill up on crisps and popcorn, then in the evening I’ll probably 5. _______________ a few more chicken sandwiches in the kitchen… It’s no wonder that I 6. _______________ weight, is it, Bar?’
Barbara: ‘I don’t know. Maybe you’re just big-boned. Do you still 7. _______________ at different restaurants every weekend?’
Doreen: ‘Yes, but I always mean to have the healthy option. You know, I can’t help wolfing down a delicious plate of chicken and chips and then 8. _______________ a huge cake for pudding.’
Barbara: ‘You know, you mustn’t pig out, Doreen! How many times do I need to tell you? It’s no good for your body. You know, you’ve got to cut back on your food, right, and 9. _______________ your calorific intake.’
Doreen: ‘You what, Bar?’
Barbara: ‘Try to 10. _______________ the fatty food and sweets for a few weeks, and 11. _______________ the crisps for good. Have you thought about 12. _______________ jogging? That would help you to 13. _______________ the calories in a controlled kind of way.’
Doreen: ‘I did try that once – with Bazza. We were exhausted after a few hundred metres and walked to the nearest pub, where we met some pals and 14. _______________ a few drinks – and the landlady 15. _______________ a fabulous chicken pie…!’
b) Find five more phrasal verbs connected with eating in the text. Translate them and write two sentences with each phrasal verb.
a) 1. slim down. 2. signed up. 3. working out. 4. burn off. 5. knock up. 6. put on. 7. eat out. 8. putting away. 9. cut down. 10. cut out. 11. give up. 12. taking up. 13. work off. 14. knocked back. 15. dished up.
b) tuck into; fill up on; wolf down; pig out; cut back. Answers will vary.
Rearrange the words in each sentence to make a question in past perfect tense.
Don’t forget to put a capital letter at the start of each sentence and a question mark at the end:
1. before had the going lights off you to all switched bed
2. since Road lived Jeremy in had 1989 Cromer
3. the out play their going pupils to completed had work before
4. John you left the got already had time home by
5. drunk half your somebody you from drink returned the when bathroom had
6. the made by call time his boss had appeared Liam phone a
7. school while a a ever still you had career at chef considered as
8. to gone phoned last bed had your them parents you just night when
9. had that seen already you movie
10. already meat out you the the been you cancelled bought before had
party found that had
Answers (no peeking!):
Little, Few, Likely, Long | Grammar Exercise
The Active and Passive Voice in Sentences
I invented the idea of imagining the four English conditionals as a family while working at a language school in Poland. I hit upon the idea of making each conditional one member of the family. The aim was to make learning the conditionals less abstract – and easier to understand – by showing the nature of each one, and so suggesting the kind of situations that students could use them in.
First conditional is the mum – practical and conscientious, busily focused on the short-term future of her family; second conditional is the teenage daughter – dreaming about the future and considering the best options in terms of studying, finding a boyfriend, getting a job, moving out of her parents’ home, and so on; third conditional is the middle-aged dad – dour and with his head in the past, thinking about what could have been if… if he’d made better decisions somewhere down the line, like if he had married Doreen – his first crush; finally, zero conditional is their young son, who is obsessed with learning new facts and with his reality in the here and now: ‘If I fall off my bike it really hurts!’
The five worksheets that resulted from these lessons with the Conditional Family represent a set of materials that I’m really pleased with. It was one of those cases when the end product was just how I had imagined it at the beginning of the project. You can download the worksheets below – they come complete with answer pages. There is also a podcast from around the same period (below), which may give some useful tips on teaching conditionals.
I guess I modelled the Conditional Family on the standard nuclear family: mum, dad, teenage daughter, boy. I gave them names for the worksheets. I took inspiration from my wife for Ferne Conditional (1st). She is certainly somebody who is very much focused on the here and now and the immediate future. She tries to organise everybody and she knows what is going on and when it should start and how long – exactly – it should last; on the other hand, it is impossible trying to talk to her about booking a holiday for six months’ time! I’m more like Herb Conditional (3rd) – thinking about the past and wondering what if… what if I had got that French A’Level? What if the teachers hadn’t kept going on strike at such a critical moment in my education? Becca (2nd) and Nero (zero) are a bit more stereotypical. You might find the whole family stereotypical – in which case you are welcome to create your own characters based on the conditionals. I suppose that from The Simpsons to Family Guy, via Modern Family and (in the UK) My Family we are used to the family stereotypes, and hopefully they help to make the point about each conditional in a way that a boring grammar lesson wouldn’t.
If you are really cool you could introduce Ferne’s older brother – uncle to the kids – who is called Mick, and talk about the often baffling to students topic of Mick’s Conditionals – or, I should say, mixed conditionals. You know, the one where the first clause is past (e.g. past perfect from 3rd) and the second is would + infinitive (from 2nd). Something in the past affects the present or future. For example:
If I had remembered to bring the tickets we would be watching the play by now.
Why not get your students to design and draw a comic strip or create a role play / film using the conditional characters and their various situations? You could give a prize for the best one!
Here is the free stuff – hope you enjoy it! If you do, why not make my day by leaving me a message on Facebook and liking my page – and please don’t forget to tell your friends about PurlandTraining.com. Thanks. 🙂
Free podcast (MP3, 30 MB) – Get to Know… the Conditional Family:
Free worksheets (PDF):
Note: to download a PDF file, click the downward arrow at the bottom of each file
Get to Know… the Conditional Family 1Get to Know... the Conditional Family 1
Get to Know… the Conditional Family 2Get to Know... the Conditional Family 2
Get to Know… the Conditional Family 3Get to Know... the Conditional Family 3
Get to Know… the Conditional Family 4Get to Know... the Conditional Family 4
Get to Know… the Conditional Family – Your IdeasGet to Know... the Conditional Family - Your Ideas
I’ve just finished a new lesson about modal verbs. 🙂
You can check it out now!
— Purland Training ELT (@purlandtraining) March 29, 2018
Practise everyday tenses – including past simple and present perfect – with this free grammar practice exercise!
Complete each sentence with one of these words or phrases:
1. We’ve walked a long way _______________, haven’t we?
2. Tom hurt himself while rollerblading _______________.
3. We’re having dinner at a nice restaurant _______________.
4. I bought some fresh bananas at the market _______________.
5. I get the bus at 6am _______________.
6. A new bookshop opened in the city centre _______________.
7. We will bake a delicious cake for grandma’s birthday ______________.
8. I chat with my friend at the bus stop _______________.
9. Claire is getting off the train _______________.
10. Sarah has had a really good day _______________.
11.They’ll finish work at five o’clock ___________ and then go for a meal.
12.I have been to the doctor’s ___________, because I’ve got a bad cold.
13.George will wear a tie to his cousin’s funeral.
14.Paul has cereal and milk for his breakfast _______________.
15.I’m listening to the radio _______________.
For answers check out the free Big Grammar Book 2.