Tuesday, 17 June 2014

reading practice

  Stage 3

Test 1
We had a small party afterwards, just the four of us. Then Ray and Phil went home and Jenny and I were alone together.
'Jenny, we're really married!'
'Yes. Now I can be as terrible to you as I like!'
For three years we had to make every dollar do the work of two. All through the summer holidays we worked at the Boat Club in Dennis Port. It hard work, but we were never tired to be kind to each  I say 'kind' because there are words to describe our love and  together.
After the summer we found 'cheap' flat near the university. It  on the top floor of an house and was actually very expensive. what could we do? There weren't flats around.
'Hey, preppie,' said Jenny we arrived there. 'Are you my or aren't you?'
'Of course I'm husband.'
'Show me, then.' (My god, thought, in the street?) 'Carry me our first home!'
I carried her the five steps to the front 
'Why did you stop?' she asked. isn't our home. Upstairs Preppie!'
There twenty-four stairs up to our and I had to stop half-way.
are you so heavy?' I asked 
'Perhaps I'm expecting a baby.'
'My Are you?'
'Ha! I frightened you didn't I?'
'Well, yes, just for second or two.'
I carried her rest of the way. There were few moments in those days when were not worrying about money. Very  and very wonderful – and that moment one of them.

Monday, 16 June 2014

"If" sentences

There are four main types of if sentences in English, often called conditional sentences.
These sentences are in two halves, with the if part in one half and the other part where you can use words such ascanwillmaymightcould and would.

If + present form + present form

"If you heat ice, it melts."
In this type of sentence, you could use when instead of if. It's always true that when you heat ice it melts. This is why this type of sentence is sometimes called a zero conditional.

If + present form, + will, can or may

"If I am late, I will call you."
"If you need me, you can call me at home."
"If it gets any hotter, we may have a thunder storm."
In these sentences (or first conditional sentences), there is a strong possibility that the first part (coming after if) is going to happen. The second part says what will happen as a result.

If + past form + would, could or might

"If I got a pay rise, I would buy a new car."
"If you left your job, you could travel around the world."
"If you were nicer to him, he might lend you the money."
In these sentences, the first part with if shows that the event is unlikely to happen. In English, we often use this type of sentence (called a second conditional) to talk about hypotheses, or imaginary future events.
For example, "If I was President of the United States, I would change some laws." But I know that I'll never be the President of the USA – I'm just saying what I would do if I was in his/her position. Note: in American English, it is correct to use "if I were…" In British English, it's more common to say "if I was…"

If + past perfect + would/might/could have done

"If I had revised, I would have passed my exams."
"If we had gone out earlier, we might have got to the cinema on time."
"If you had told me there was a problem, I could have helped."
In these sentences (or third conditional sentences), the first part of the sentence with if didn't happen. So there is no possibility of the second part of the sentence happening. I didn't revise, so I didn't pass my exams and there is nothing I can do about it now. English speakers use this type of sentence to show how things could have been different.

Modal auxiliary verbs in English

In English, you can show what you feel about a situation by using words such as maywillwouldmight, can and could.
These words can change the meaning of a sentence and show that something is possible, necessary, uncertain, or intended.
"For example, "I'll go shopping tomorrow" shows that you intend to go tomorrow.
"I might go shopping tomorrow" shows that perhaps you will go tomorrow, but you don't know for sure.

Grammar rules for using modal auxiliary verbs

* They are followed by the verb without to.
* You don't need an 's' for the third person singular: "He might come to the party." (Not "he mights come to the party".)
* You can make a question by putting the word before the person, not by using 'do' or 'have':
"Could you help me?" (Not "do you could help me?")
* You can make a negative form by adding a form of not to the word:
can becomes can't
will becomes won't
might becomes might not (or mightn't)
may becomes may not
could becomes couldn't.

How possible something is

"The company might relocate next year."
"We may have to wait an hour for dinner in this restaurant."
"It can get very cold here in winter."
"We could all live to be 100 years old in theory."

How certain something is

"She'll get promoted next year."
"He won't agree to that idea."
"You must be our new neighbour."
"If you left now, you would get the train."

Offers and requests

"Shall I open the door for you?"
"I'll cook dinner, if you like."
"Could you help me?"
"Can you pass me the salt, please?"


"Can I open the window, please?"
"You may now look at your exam papers." (This is formal.)


"I can cook, but I can't drive."
"I couldn't speak French very well when I was at school."

Using should, must and need

These words help you to talk about rules, obligation and advice.


We use should to give advice.
"If you want to learn English, you should practise as much as possible."
We can also use should to talk about what we expect to happen.
"He should be here by now – he left over an hour ago."
The negative of should is shouldn't.
"You shouldn't eat so much chocolate – it's bad for you."


We use must to talk about obligation.
"I must call my grandmother today – it's her birthday."
If you want to say the opposite – that there is no obligation to do something, use don't have to or don't need to.
"You don't have to wash the car – I'll do it."
"You don't need to put the rubbish out – I've already done it."
We can also use must to talk about what we think is logically certain.
"You must be tired after all that travelling."
If you want to say that something is logically impossible, use can't.
"Who's that at the door? It can't be the postman – he's already been."
Mustn't means that it is not allowed to do something.
"You mustn't feed animals in the zoo – it's not allowed."

Should have done

Look at this example dialogue:
"You know… my car was broken into yesterday."
"How terrible. What did you do?"
"Oh, nothing."
"You should have called the police."
We use the pattern should have done to talk about what we think would have been the best thing to do. However, the past event we are talking about cannot be changed. So the pattern after should is have done – not should do.
In the example dialogue, the person didn't contact the police yesterday (in the past), so you can't change the situation. You can only say what action would have been the best in this situation.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Interviews 5: Vocabulary check

There are lots of expressions using the word 'career' that you might come across. The following nouns all make word partners with career.
career plancareer laddercareer breakcareer movecareer prospects
Match them with their meanings.

1. Chances of future success in your career
2. The direction you hope your career will take
3. A change you make in order to progress
4. Time when you are not employed, perhaps when travelling or looking after children
5. A series of promotions towards more senior positions


  1. Chances of future success in your career - C. career prospects
  2. The direction you hope your career will take - E. career plan
  3. A change you make in order to progress - A. careermove
  4. Time when you are not employed, perhaps when travelling or looking after children - B. career break
  5. A series of promotions towards more senior positions - D. career ladder

A. career move
B. career break
C. career prospects
D. career ladder
E. career plan
A. colleagues

Interviews 3: FAQs

During the interview, always be positive about your previous experiences. Never offer negative information! Instead, sell yourself using active, positive words. In the exercise below, match words from the left to the right to make 'power phrases'.
Click here if you can't use Flash, or want to print out the exercise

Responding positively

Match the words on the left to the words on the right to make 'power phrases' for interviews. (NOTE: words on the right can't be used twice)
1. showing
2. presenting
3. solving
4. controlling
5. achieving
6. motivating
7. meeting
8. creating
A. colleagues
B. initiative
C. ideas
D. objectives
E. deadlines
F. budgets
G. problems
H. information


  1. showing initiative (B)
  2. presenting information (H)
  3. solving problems (G)
  4. controlling budgets (F)
  5. achieving objectives (D)
  6. motivating colleagues (A)
  7. meeting deadlines (E)
  8. creating ideas (C)

Interviews: chair with speech bubble
power phrases
strong expressions that show how good you are at what you do
the people you work with
aims, goals

Interviews 2: Interview tips

Interviews 2: Interview tips

How you look and behave at an interview can sometimes be even more important than what you say! There are lots of things you can do to make a good impression on interviewers. Here are some tips relating to your appearance and body language.

pictures or designs which symbolise a particular company.
designer names
famous and expensive fashion brands
eye contact
when you look at someone directly in the eyes
to make small movements with your hands or feet, especially if you are bored or nervous

Interviews 1: preparing for the interview

Interviews can be nerve-wracking and preparation is very important. You will be better equipped to answer questions and you will walk in to the interview feeling more confident. Here are some tips for preparing for an interview. Read the text below and select the best option from the drop-down menu of words.
Interviews: chair with speech bubble
it makes you feel nervous, scared
to do what is meant to be done well
found out a lot of information about something
to predict 
to guess