Category Archives: Use of English

Idiom of the Day: Full of the joys of spring

Idiom of the Day: Full of the joys of spring

Idiom of the Day: To be full of the joys of spring

Literal meaning:

To be unexpectedly happy.

Example:

‘You’re full of the joys of spring. What happened?’

When to use it:

Two work colleagues meet; one of them is unusually cheerful.

  • Hi Jack. You’re full of the joys of spring.
  • Oh – my granddaughter was born last night.
  • Oh, great! Wow – congratulations!

Other use:

It could also be used sarcastically, e.g. you get home from work to find your partner moaning about your credit card bill:

  • I thought you told me you were going to get rid of this card!
  • You’re full of the joys of spring!
  • I’m serious. We can’t go on like this any more, Brian.

Image: https://pixabay.com

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

30 ESOL Discussion Questions about Laughter

Discuss the following questions with a partner or small group:

  1. What is laughter? Can you spell it? Can you pronounce it? How do you write laughter in your language, e.g. ‘ha ha!’ in English, but ‘Jajajajaja!’ in Spanish?
  2. When did you last laugh? Who or what made you laugh? How often do you laugh? What would I need to do to make you laugh right now?
  3. Do you like laughing? What is the difference between laughing and smiling?
  4. How do we laugh? What happens to our bodies, especially: a) mouth, b) eyes, c) chest, d) diaphragm, e) heart, f) breath? What does laughter: a) sound like, b) look like, c) feel like?
  5. Where do you usually laugh? Why? What effect does the environment have on the potential for laughter?
  6. What effect would laughter have on the atmosphere: a) at a party, b) at a business meeting, c) in church, d) at a comedy club, e) at a funeral, f) in an exam, g) at a family dinner, h) at the doctor’s?
  7. Are you self-conscious about laughing in front of: a) friends, b) family, c) strangers? Why?
  8. Is it easier to laugh in a big group e.g. at a comedy club or at the theatre? Would you laugh as much if you were the only person in the audience? If no, why not?
  9. Is laughter ever wrong? When is laughter inappropriate? Can it be illegal to laugh?
  10. How would you feel if you couldn’t stop laughing and laughed all the time? What would life be like? Is it possible to die laughing?
  11. What is the point of laughter? Is there any evolutionary advantage? Does laughter send out useful signals, e.g. that the one laughing is not a threat? Do animals laugh? Do animals find things funny? If not, why not?
  12. Can robots laugh? Do you think machines will be able to enjoy our sense of humour in the future?
  13. Have you ever laughed till you cried? Have you ever laughed until you couldn’t breathe and thought you might black out, i.e. uncontrollable laughter? What were you laughing at? Do you like that sensation? Why? / Why not?
  14. Can laughter be subversive? Can it be used as a weapon? In what situation(s)? Does satire make you laugh?
  15. Do you prefer to laugh on your own or with friends? Do you laugh at the same things as your friends and family? Do you believe that laughter is infectious? Why? / Why not? Does the Laughing Policeman song (above) make you laugh?
  16. Is there anything that you wouldn’t laugh at? What? Is it possible to laugh when you don’t really find something funny?
  17. Do you know anybody who doesn’t laugh very often – or who never laughs? Why is that?
  18. Are you good at making people laugh? What are the best ways to make other people laugh? How do you feel when a group of people are laughing: a) because of you, b) at you? What is the difference?
  19. What are the benefits of laughter? Is laughter ‘the best medicine’, for example?
  20. How would you describe your laugh? Are you a loud, moderate, or quiet laugher? How did you learn to laugh?
  21. Describe the difference(s) between these different kinds of laughter: a) chuckle, b) giggle, c) cackle, d) guffaw, e) snigger, f) sneer, g) chortle, h) hoot, i) titter, j) snicker, k) roar, l) snort, m) howl, n) fall about laughing? Do you laugh in all these different ways? In what situations would you laugh like that? Can you give an example of each kind of laughter now?
  22. Do you know the meaning of the following idioms about laughter? a) to have a laugh, b) to have the last laugh, c) to get the giggles, d) laughter is the best medicine, e) to be laugh-a-minute, f) he who laughs last laughs longest, g) to laugh your head off, h) to burst out laughing?
  23. Do adults laugh at different things to children? Do women laugh at different things to men? If so, why?
  24. Do you agree that ‘the couple who laugh together, stay together? Is it important for married couples to have the same sense of humour? Why? / Why not?
  25. Do optimistic people laugh more than pessimistic people? If yes, why?
  26. Is it possible to change your mood from angry to happy by forcing yourself to laugh, thus releasing the feel-good chemicals endorphins in the brain?
  27. Do you make funny noises when you laugh? Do you ever say something immediately after laughing, like ‘Oh no!’ or ‘Oh dear?’ If yes, why?
  28. How would you feel if you were walking down the street and heard the following people laugh? a) a baby, b) a group of women, c) a group of teenage boys, d) a lone man, e) a lone woman, f) a lone child? Why? What would be the difference?
  29. Do the things you laugh at change as you get older, or remain broadly the same? Why?
  30. Do you agree with this quotation from the famous poem ‘Solitude’ by Ella Wheeler: ‘Laugh, and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone’? What does it mean?
Using Conjunctions - Free Worksheets

Using Conjunctions – Free Worksheets

Using Conjunctions – Free Worksheets

Improve your grammar skills in English with our helpful FREE printable worksheets (with answers) on the topic of using conjunctions.

These worksheets are free and in the public domain, so please feel free to share them widely!

If you like this material, please share it with your friends on social media – and join us on Facebook!

Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/using-conjunctions-1-eg31.pdf

Using Conjunctions 1 Free Worksheet


Direct download: https://purlandtraining.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/using-conjunctions-2-eg32.pdf

Using Conjunctions 2 – Free Worksheet
Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words - ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

Hashtag Improve Your Life in Four Words – ESOL Game

This is a fun ESOL game inspired by the recent Twitter hashtag: #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words

Method:

  1. SS (students) work in pairs or small groups. They access the hashtag on Twitter and select ten (or more, or fewer) tweets. T (teacher) monitors and helps.
  2. They write the four-word phrases onto a sheet of paper, then delete one of the words from each phrase. SS could focus on deleting words from a particular word class, e.g. verbs, adjectives, or prepositions, etc.
  3. Next, SS exchange their paper with another pair or group, who have to complete each gap with one word only – or more than one word, if you want the game to be easier. Then both pairs of groups come together and compare their answers with the original tweets.
  4. Twist: SS have to suggest more than one word that could possibly fit, e.g. five words – the funnier the better!
  5. The whole class come together and different groups present their work to the class.
  6. Final quick-fire round #1: T (or a student) collects all of the four-word phrases and reads them to SS going round the whole class in a circle. The reader omits the final word and the student has to say the first thing that comes to mind, e.g. “I would buy…” “Sausages.” / “Bread.” / “A pizza.” – and so on. You could make it competitive by putting a five-second timer on each student – if they can’t think of anything, they sit out, and the game continues until there is one student as the winner!
  7. Final quick-fire round #2: T (or SS) collect a number of four-word phrases from the hashtag on Twitter. Play the quick-fire round, as above, but this time SS must come up with the real final word from the tweets. You could play it competitively too, as above.

By the way, don’t forget to follow Purland Training on Twitter! [Click here.] and let us know how it goes!


Example (with tweets below):

Education gives children __________.    e.g. headaches

Pledge to go __________!    e.g. green

Learn to love __________.    e.g. homework

__________, then laugh more.    e.g. eat

Laugh whenever it’s __________.    e.g. raining

Think about others __________.    e.g. sometimes

Go to bed __________.    e.g. late

Watch the Penguin __________.    e.g. film

A Weekend In __________.    e.g. Grimsby

Read more, sing __________!    e.g. less


#Education gives #children choices #ImproveYourLifeIn4Words pic.twitter.com/yOYzPDNfAR


Title image: https://pixabay.com

10 Most Common Grammar Mistakes English Learners Make

10 Most Common Grammar Mistakes English Learners Make

10 Most Common Grammar Mistakes English Learners Make

In this fab video from mmmEnglish we learn about the 10 most common grammar mistakes that English learners make. How many of them have you corrected?

Image: https://pixabay.com

200 Top English Idioms

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

200 Top English Idioms

Here are 200 of the most common everyday English idioms that native speakers use all the time. Check how many you already know, then make a conscious effort to learn the rest.

If you only ever learn 200 English idioms, learn these!

If You Only Ever Learn 200 English Idioms, Learn These!

Title image: https://pixabay.com

Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?

Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?

Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?

Confused about when to use a gerund (ing noun) or to + infinitive? Learn the following groups of verbs to be able to speak and write English with more confidence!

These verbs are followed by a gerund:

Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?


These verbs are followed by to + infinitive:

Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?



Grammar Facts! Verb + Gerund or Infinitive?


Download the FREE Big Grammar Book Intermediate Book 1 for some worksheets to practice using gerunds and infinitives (see pages 58-62).


Image: Daniel Corneschi

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

A Tour of 17 Different British Accents by Region [Video]

Join Siobhan Thompson from Anglophenia for a FREE video lesson, as she gives us an hilarious tour of the accents of the British Isles – and the celebrities who use them!

Her accents include:

  • Received Pronunciation / RP (BBC English)
  • West Country
  • Southern Welsh
  • West Midlands
  • Lancashire
  • Geordie

…and many more!