Will or Going to

27 August 2015 by Diane

Used to express plans for the future (that were made at a past time)



* I am going to visit Africa next summer.                                       

* She is going to eat dinner with me tonight.




Used to express a decision made at the moment

·           I will wear this dress to the party.

·           She’ll call you back in a few hours.


Used to make predictions                

·           Do you think Brazil will win the World Cup?


Used to offer to do something

·           I will take you to the airport.

Used to make requests.

·           Will you make a photocopy for me?


Used to make promises.

·           I won’t tell anyone your secret.



Used to make threats—first conditional.

·           If you tell mom about what I did, I will kill you! (This of course is an exaggerated threat!)

Idiomatic Pairs

31 July 2015 by Diane

safe and sound: free from danger or injury           
Example: After a long day of hiking, Dan arrived home safe and sound.

above and beyond: doing more than is necessary
Example: They really went
above and beyond to make me feel at home.     

pros and cons: good parts and bad parts of something
Example: What are the
pros and cons of living in the city?              

wear and tear: damage from overuse
Example: There’s a lot of
wear and tear on my car.               

short and sweet: quick and accomplishing the main goal
Example: The meeting was
short and sweet, just as I like it.

ins and outs: all of the details; insider knowledge
Example: He has been working there for twenty years.  He knows all of the
ins and outs of the office.         

live and learn: learn from one’s mistakes/experiences
Example: I didn’t make the best decision, but you know what,
you live and you learn.                   

sick and tired: very annoyed with someone/thing
Example: I’m
sick and tired of listening to him complain.  He needs to quit his job.   

black and white: having an obvious right and wrong answer
Example: Not everything is
black and white.

ups and downs: good parts and bad parts
Example: Every job has its
ups and downs.

now or never: the only opportunity to do something
Example: You need to tell him how you feel!  It’s
 now or never.             

wine and dine: provide someone with a nice dinner and special treatment
Example: The company
wined and dined me because they wanted me to accept the proposal.                 

fair and square: fair/honest
Example: He looked at all the evidence before he made a decision.  It was
fair and square.

Using the Word "Like"

20 June 2015 by Diane

Writing questions and answers using like:

What does he look like?                                  Describe his appearance

What does he like?                                        Describe his hobbies

What is he like?                                        Describe his personality

Who does he look like?                                Name a person he looks similar to

Who does he like?                                        Name a person he likes

Who is he like?                                        Name a person he acts similar to

During, While, For, Since and Until

30 May 2015 by Diane


Used when we want to talk about something that happened at the same time as something else.

ex. During the summer she worked as a babysitter.

     Try not to fall asleep during class.

     She could not stop talking during the movie.


Used when we want to talk about something that happened at the same time as something else.

ex.  While I was eating lunch, I read this book.

    Please, don't drink alcohol while you are driving.

FOR (+ LENGTH OF TIME)         

Used when we want to talk about how long something lasts.

ex. They study for two hours every day.

      I worked at the bank for five years.

      I have been working on this project for two weeks!

SINCE ( + THE TIME THE ACTION STARTED)  * used with a perfect tense!

ex. He has been living in London since 1997.

     We've known about it since June.

     He has played soccer since he was a child.



ex. I will stay in Chicago until June.

     She lived in France until she was fluent in French.

    He works until 5pm on Fridays.

Comparative and Superlative Bingo

01 May 2015 by Diane

A fun activity for students!

Find someone who...

has a car older than 3 years old


has been in Chicago longer than 4 months


is the youngest child in the family


has the most siblings in the class


wakes up earlier than 6am during the week


is the oldest child in their family


thinks winter is better than summer


wants to be taller


goes to bed later than midnight every night


exercises more than three times a week


has less than $3 with them


likes Chicago more than their native city


thinks their native country has the best food in the world


likes reading better than watching TV


has more than 4 pairs of shoes in Chicago


has more than 1 pet


thinks math is more interesting than history


thinks baseball is more entertaining to watch than soccer


has visited more than 5 countries


thinks spiders are scarier than rats


is from the largest city in their country


thinks that cats are better than dogs


is the youngest person in the class


has less than 3 pairs of pants in Chicago


thinks pizza is the best food


Superlative Questions

What is the scariest thing you have ever done?

Tell me about the time you were the most nervous.

What’s the most disgusting food you’ve ever eaten?

Who is the nicest person you know?

What is the hardest part about learning English?

What is the funniest movie you’ve ever seen?

What is the earliest you have ever woken up in the morning?

Create your own question: