Category Archives: Speaking

Say, Tell, Talk, or Speak? 1

Say, Tell, Talk, or Speak? 1

It’s grammar time! Do you know when to use say, tell, talk, or speak?

Say and tell have different uses in English:

Say, Tell, Talk, or Speak? 1

Talk and speak are physical actions. Their meanings are quite similar, with a few key differences:

Say, Tell, Talk, or Speak? 1

Complete each gap with say, tell, talk, or speak in the appropriate form:

1. Generally ________, there will be room for around a hundred guests at the wedding.
2. Look, would you just ________ me the truth about Babs, please?
3. ‘And then she told me to get lost!’ ‘What an awful thing to ________!’
4. When Janet resigned in front of the board, I was so shocked I could hardly ________!
5. Robbie ________ a joke in class, but nobody saw the funny side of it.
6. Could you ________ up, please? I’m a bit deaf.
7. I’ll give you the stuffing with the turkey for free. Now, I can’t ________ fairer than that.
8. ‘John said the company is close to collapse!’ ‘No! He’s ________ utter rubbish.’
9. It’s vital that I ________ to my doctor about the test results.
10. Peter ________ good morning to Alice when he met her in the car park.
11. Darren has really enjoyed ________ to his kids on the way home from Ireland.
12. ‘You can’t park here, mate.’ ‘OK, whatever you ________.’
13. Just stop ________ me what to do!
14. When the plane had finally landed, we got in a taxi and ________ for hours.
15. My sister was ________ to her boyfriend about her holiday.
16. I was trying to ________ them about the paintings, but they preferred the gift shop.
17. Geoff? Good. Phil here. OK. We need to ________ business.
18. OK, everyone get ready. I’m going to take the picture. ________ cheese!
19. Is it true that Ellen ________ Norwegian fluently?
20. The grass snake was as big as a python – I’m ________ you!


Say, Tell, Talk, or Speak? 1

Taken from Big Grammar Book Intermediate Book 1download it FREE here!

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

Improve your English vocabulary by learning and using these 20 English phrasal verbs with RUN:

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN (Infographic)

20 English Phrasal Verbs with RUN:

run about – run during play
run across – discover
run after – chase
run away – flee
run down – list
run somebody down – criticise
run into somebody – meet accidentally
run into something – encounter a problem
run off – print copies
run off with somebody – elope
run on – keep running
run on – be powered by
run out (of) – have none left
run out on – abandon
run over – hit with a vehicle
run something past somebody – check
run through something – preview
run to – reach a certain amount
run up (a bill) – spend a lot
run with something – accept and support


FREE Karaoke! Lost in Japan by Shawn Mendes, Zedd

FREE Karaoke! Lost in Japan by Shawn Mendes, Zedd

Lost in Japan by Shawn MendesZedd

Sung by Shawn Mendes  /  Written by Shawn Mendes, Scott Harris, Nate Mercereau, and Teddy Geiger

Sing along to the brand new music video with lyrics!

Here are the full lyrics:

Idiom of the day - What am I like?

Idiom of the day – What am I like?

Idiom of the day – What am I like?

The English idiom ‘What am I like?’ is a rhetorical question (one we don’t need anybody to answer) that we ask ourselves out loud when we do something a little bit silly – usually in a public place. It has the same sort of meaning as when Homer says ‘Doh!’ in The Simpsons.

For example, at the supermarket you have paid and you’re walking away from the checkout, when the customer behind you calls you back and tells you that you’ve left a potato on the bagging area. You hurry back and collect your errant potato. To cover your embarrassment you say quickly, ‘Oh, thank you! Thanks. What am I like?’ The other customer smiles, but there is no need for them to reply. For example, we wouldn’t hear an exchange like this:

A – Hey! Excuse me! You’ve forgotten a potato.

B – What? Oh no! Thank you. Thanks so much. Oh, what am I like?

A – Well, it seems that you are rather forgetful, careless, and possibly living in a world of your own.

B – Er, thanks again.

We say ‘What am I like?’ in situations where we potentially look silly or odd in a public place. It puts a voice to our feeling of foolishness and awkwardness, and acknowledges publicly that we have done something ‘unusual’ and that we know about it – we are aware of it. To say nothing would be to create an unreal situation where there is an elephant in the room – an unacknowledged error or problem. This would be very uncomfortable for the typical English person, who tries to avoid awkward public situations. Making a joke about it – and making ourselves the butt of the joke – lightens the mood and takes the heat off – making it seem less awkward.

The typical English response to ‘What am I like?’ would be to smile and perhaps say ‘No problem’ or ‘Yes, I’m always doing that too!’ (showing empathy) if you are feeling more friendly. In any case, phatic (non-essential) communication – also called ‘small talk’ –  eases the awks!

Note: this is not an investigation into your true nature: ‘What am I like?’ It’s unlikely we would ever need to ask this question about ourselves, unless we had lost our memory, or we were particularly vain and wanted to hear people eulogising us! In our version, we put more stress on ‘like’ and the intonation is downward at the end, rather than up, as in a normal question.

Other times when you could say ‘What am I like?’:

  • You get to work and realise you haven’t brought your lunch box
  • The waiter gives you the bill and you realise that you’ve forgotten your wallet – oops
  • In the supermarket you try to get a bag of flour down from a high shelf but it lands on the floor, making a huge mess
  • You are rushing to prepare dinner and you drop your favourite blue dinner plate, smashing it on the floor
  • You get home and realise that you have left the TV on all day by mistake

See if you can use this idiom in your daily life today! Leave a comment to tell us how you used it!

Image: chuttersnap

12 English Idioms about Climate Change

Here are 12 English idioms about climate change for you to discuss with your class

12 English Idioms about Climate Change

  1. a life-and-death situation
  2. to not be able to get your head around sth (something)
  3. to be getting out of hand
  4. to see with your own eyes
  5. to be running out of time
  6. to be between a rock and a hard place
  7. to make sth up
  8. to be a drop in the ocean
  9. to be a lot of hot air (about nothing)
  10. to be a storm in a teacup
  11. to be not bothered about sth
  12. to be (a bit) over the top / OTT

Listen to Matt discuss these idioms in this free Facebook Live English class:

Image: Thomas Millot

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheets!

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheet Pack!

FREE Class on Facebook Live + FREE Worksheet Pack!

Wednesday 3rd October – 20:15 CEST

Facebook Live

Click below to sign up now!

ESOL Discussion Activities – 40 People from the Bible

We’ll be discussing the following material:

Direct download:

ESOL Discussion Activities – 40 People from the Bible
FREE English Class on Facebook! Glottal Stops

FREE English Class on Facebook! Glottal Stops

FREE English Class on Facebook!

Wednesday 19th September at 20:15 CEST.

Learn about glottal stops in English with Matt Purland.

Sign up for our free live class on Facebook now!

Click the link below:

10 English Idioms with Mind - Free Live Class

10 English Idioms with Mind

From make up your mind to out of sight is out of mind, there are lots of English idioms with the word ‘mind’.

We will explore ten of them in a free Facebook Live class tonight (12.09.18). Click the link below to sign up for this free class:

Here is the presentation that we will use during the class:

Class recording: