Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Used to/Would: My First Job

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This is a lesson plan for intermediate adult students in which they learn how to use “used to” and “would” to talk about past habits then use them to talk about their first jobs. Download the handout and key below:

My First Job would used to



I got my first job when I was 12 years old. I worked as a paperboy delivering newspapers to people in my village every morning. I used to get up very early and deliver the papers to half of the village while my friend Ben would deliver to the other half. I used to love seeing the empty streets of the village before anyone got up but I used to hate the job on rainy days. I would sometimes ride my bike to get the job done faster. Ben was luckier than me, sometimes if he couldn’t be bothered to do his paper round, his Dad would drive him around his route in his car!

  1. What was his first job?
  2. He had to deliver papers to the whole village T/F
  3. What did he enjoy about his job?
  4. What didn’t he like about his job?
  5. He always did the job on foot T/F
  6. Sometimes someone helped him do his job T/F

Language Focus

Underline all the uses of “used to” and “would” in the text. Both can be used to describe habits in the past.

Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

__________________ can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

__________________ can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.

Look at the text again, in which cases can we use either “used to” or “would” and which ones can we only use “used to”?

Complete the sentences below with “used to” or “used to + would”

  1. I _____________ be really fat but I’ve lost a lot of weight.
  2. When I was a child I ___________________ play football in the park for hours.
  3. I _____________ hate olives but I love them now.
  4. When I worked in the city centre I ___________________take the metro to work every day.
  5. I ____________________ think that living alone was boring but I’ve changed my mind now.
  6. When I was at primary school we __________________ go swimming every Monday afternoon and on the way home we __________________ stop to buy sweets and Coca-Cola I ________________ love Monday afternoons!

Note: We normally start a story about a past habit with “used to” and then use “would” to describe actions:

I used to work in advertising; I would travel all over the world meeting different clients. On Fridays we would take the day off and go to a casino or a bar.


Step 1: Write a short text (2-3 lines) about your first job. Include your responsibilities and some things you liked and disliked about it.




Step 2: Read your text to your partner. Then let them ask you some questions about your job:

For example: What did you use to wear? Were you a good employee? Etc.

Step 3: Change partner and tell them about your old job but this time try to do it from memory DON’T READ FROM THE PAPER.


  1. Who used to have the most different job to the one they do now?
  2. Whose first job sounds the best/worst?
  3. What are the most common first jobs in your country?
  4. What age do you think people should get their first job?
  5. How can we prepare young people for the stresses of the working world?



  1. He was a paperboy
  2. False, his friend delivered to half the village
  3. Seeing the empty streets in the morning
  4. Doing the job on rainy days
  5. False, he sometimes rode his bike
  6. False, his friend Ben sometimes got his Dad to help him


Complete the rules below with “would” or “used to”:

Used to can be used to describe past habitual actions, likes/dislikes, states and opinions that are not true now.

Would can only be used to describe past habitual actions NOT states and opinions.


  1. Used to
  2. Both
  3. Used to
  4. Both
  5. Used to
  6. Both, both, used to
Posted in Conversation Classes, Vocabulary Classes

Working 9 to 5

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This is a vocabulary activity for adults intermediate students. Students will learn some vocabulary related to the world of work and put it to use in a discussion. Download the handout and teacher’s notes below:

Working 9 to 5


Question completion

  1. What is the minimum hourly ______ in your country? Do you think it is enough?
  2. What is the average ________ for a politician in your country? Do you think it is enough?
  3. How long is your normal working day? Do you get paid for ________ (working extra hours)?
  4. Do you get a Christmas or Summer _________ in your job? If so, how much do you get?
  5. How much __________ do you get at Christmas, Easter and in the summer?
  6. Have you ever worked a night ________? What was it like? Do you know anyone who does it often?
  7. What are the most common ___________ jobs for people with children in your country?
  8. If you have to travel for your job, does your company pay your _________? Or do you have to pay them yourself?
  9. When was the last time you got a _________ from a carpenter/plumber/builder etc.? How much was it?
  10. How much does a teacher _________ in your country? Is it enough? Who do you think doesn’t _______ enough? Who do you think ________ too much?


Different Trades

What are the names of these jobs?

  1. How do people train for these jobs in your country?
  2. Do you have any skills in these areas?
  3. What are the advantages of these jobs compared to an office job?



Give out the handout and have students complete the questions with one word from the box. Check their answers, students then ask and answer the questions in pairs or groups of three. Feed back in open class.

Students then try to name the different tradespeople then ask and answer the discussion questions.


  1. Wage (normally refers to hourly or weekly pay from a job)
  2. Salary (often refers to annual amount)
  3. Overtime
  4. Bonus
  5. Time off
  6. Shift
  7. Part-time
  8. Expenses
  9. Quote
  10. Earn, earn, earns


  1. Plumber
  2. Electrician
  3. Builder
  4. Carpenter
  5. Painter and decorator
  6. Gardener
Posted in Vocabulary Classes

Online Dating: Compound Adjectives

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This is the lesson plan I designed for my DELTA vocabulary assignment. It is designed for B2 students. Students read online dating profiles and decide if the people are compatible and then learn compound adjectives and put them to use in a discussion. Download the students’ materials, powerpoint and lesson plans below:

My Lesson Plan for assessed class +procedure – Teacher’s procedure

Online Dating powerpoint

Dating Profiles materials – Students’ handout

Teacher’s notes

Activity Time
1.     First slide –Title, ask: “What do people put their dating profiles?”

2.     Give out handouts, what are the titles? Teach turn ons and offs

3.     Sts read, are they compatible?

4.     Task check across class: Why? Why not?

5.     Any doubts? Deal with compounds after.

6.     Students underline compound adjectives – show slide 2, underline them as task check

7.     Meaning matchdo first one as an example: 1-C

Answers: 1-c, 2-e, 3-f, 4-L, 5-g, 6-k, 7-a, 8-b, 9-d, 10-h, 11-I, 12-j

Task check with powerpoint.

8.     Form match in pairs

Task check on powerpoint

9.     Sts check which ones end in an extra syllable. Do first two as an example. Identify stressed syllable: First in second word. Fun and loving stressed.

10.                        Mumble drill first two. “Practice saying the first two to yourself quietly. Then say them to your partner.”

11.                        Controlled practice questions. In pairs, ask first question to your partner, they remember the compound. Example with strong pair (Aris and whoever)

12.                        New questions, new compounds.  Do top up in OC:

·        Opposite of dark-haired – light/fair-haired.

·        Someone with dark skin – dark-skinned

·        Someone with green eyes – green-eyed (jealous/envious)


Work with a partner, try to guess the compound. Do first one as an example. Ask to class. MAN-EATING CROCODILE

13.                        Practice: Discussion. What are your preferences for appearance? Do you like brown or blonde-haired men and women? “I like brown-eyed women because their eyes are very mysterious.”

14.                        Wrap-up/top-up. Look at boarded vocabulary. Work on pronunciation. Maybe do opposites etc: badly-paid, badly-educated. Dark/light-skinned etc.






































Stage Time Focus Procedure Aim
Pre-reading 5 mins pairs Sts discuss the typical information people put on dating profiles. To engage students top-down knowledge of relationships and online dating
Reading 10 mins Pairs









Sts read Jon and Sally’s dating profiles. Then decide if the two are compatible in pairs.






Feed back in open class, T encourages discussion.

To introduce compound adjectives in context. To develop students receptive understanding of compounds



To check sts understanding of the text

Language Focus: Meaning 2 mins




5 mins










Sts underline all the compound adjectives in the two texts.



Sts match compound adjectives to their definitions on handout.


Task check across class and using powerpoint to confirm

To check sts ability to identify compound adjectives.


To develop sts understanding of the meaning of the target language.

Language Focus: Form 5 mins Pairs





Sts group compound adjectives based on their form



Task check using powerpoint.

To develop sts understanding of the different compound adjective patterns.
Language Focus: Pronunciation 2 mins












5 mins














Sts contrast the “-ed” compounds that end with /ɪd/ with those that end /d/ and the stress patterns in the different forms.

T highlights rules on powerpoint:

·         ends in “t” or “d” –ed = /id/ extra syllable

·         others –ed = /d/

·         noun is stressed in noun + present participle compounds (fun-loving)


Sts use phonemic script from handout to mumble drill target language individually then practice in pairs. T monitors and corrects.

To highlight different forms of pronouncing “-ed” endings and stress patterns in compound adjectives.








To practice the pronunciation of compounds.

Vocabulary practice 10 mins Pairs






Sts ask and answer first set of questions on handout which elicit the target language. T monitors, reactively helping with pron.


T tops up:

·         Opposite of dark-haired – light/fair-haired.

·         Someone with dark skin – dark-skinned

·         Someone with green eyes – green-eyed (jealous/envious)


Sts answer 2nd set of questions to attempt to identify new compound adjectives by applying the rules of form they have just learned.

To consolidate meaning of target language, practice pronunciation and increase chances of retention.

To encourage autonomous application of the rules of compounding.

Personalised practice 10 mins Pairs








Sts discuss their hair and eye colour preferences in pairs. Then decide on the 2 best and worst personality characteristics for a partner.

T monitors and boards emergent language.


Feed back to open class looking for agreement/disagreement and discussion.

To encourage creative use of the target language and make sts process it at a deeper cognitive level.
Wrap-up/topping-up 5 mins pairs T draws students’ attention to boarded emergent language and tidies up doubts and pronunciation errors. To exploit learning opportunities with emergent language.


Read Jon and Sally’s dating profiles below. Do you think they are compatible? Why? Why not?

 Jon, 26 years old, Edinburgh.

I’m a hard-working medical student from Aberdeen in Scotland. I go to the gym four times a week so I’m quite well-built. I do a lot of voluntary work and I’m training to be a doctor.


I’m crazy about blonde-haired, blue-eyed women, I find them really attractive. I like women who are open-minded because I love travelling and trying new experiences.


I really don’t like selfish people, with some people it’s all “me, me, me” and I can’t stand that. Another big turn-off for me is narrow-minded people, there are so many wonderful places to visit and people to meet in the world and I can’t wait to get started.


Sally, 25 years old, York.

I’m a fun-loving advertising executive from York in northern England. My job is well-paid but quite stressful so I like to have a good time at the weekends. I also like to do sport and help out at the local children’s hospital once a month.


I’m into dark-haired mysterious men, but the most important thing for me is that they are kind-hearted, adventurous and have a good sense of humour. I read a lot and like having a good debate so I’m looking for someone who is well-educated.


The biggest turn-off for me is big-headed guys, I can’t bear people who think they are better than others. I also don’t like bad-tempered people, I’m an optimist and I always try to see things in a positive way.


Read the texts and underline all the compound adjectives you can find.


Language focus

Match the compound adjective (1-12) to its definition (A-L)

1.      I’m a hard-working medical student. A.     Someone who often gets angry.
2.      I’m crazy about blonde-haired, blue-eyed women. B.      Someone who is strong and has muscles.
3.      I’m a fun-loving PhD student.


C.      Someone who works hard.
4.      I’m looking for someone who is well-educated. D.     Someone who is nice and generous.
5.      I don’t like big-headed people. E.      Someone who has blonde hair. Someone who has blue eyes.
6.      My job is well-paid but stressful. F.      Someone who likes to socialise and have a good time.
7.      I also don’t like bad-tempered people. G.     An arrogant person who thinks they are better than others.
8.      I go to the gym four times a week so I’m quite well-built. H.     Someone with brown or black hair.
9.      The most important thing for me is that they are kind-hearted. I.        Someone who is open to different opinions and activities.
10.  I’m into dark-haired mysterious men. J.        An intolerant person who doesn’t listen to other people’s opinions.
11.  I like women who are open-minded because I love travelling. K.      Something you earn a good salary for.
12.  Another big turn-off for me is narrow-minded people. L.       An intelligent person with a good education.


Put the different compound adjectives in the correct box:

A.     Adjective + noun + -ed

1.      Narrow-minded

2.      _________________________

3.      _________________________

4.      _________________________

5.      _________________________

6.      _________________________

7.      _________________________

8.      _________________________

B.     Adverb + past participle

1.      Well-built

2.      __________________________

3.      __________________________


C.     Adjective/noun + …ing

1.      _________________________

2.      _________________________





Look at the phonemic script of the compound adjectives:

  • In which adjective is the “-ed” pronounced as an extra syllable?
  • Which syllable is stressed in the compound adjectives?
  1. Blue-eyed – | bluːˈaɪd |
  2. Well-educated – | welˈedʒʊkeɪtɪd |
  3. Blonde-haired – | blɒndˈheəd |
  4. Big-headed – | bɪɡˈhedɪd |

What’s different about the stress in this one?

  1. Fun-loving |ˈfʌnˈlʌvɪŋ |


Take turns to ask these questions to your partner to test your memory.

  1. What do you call someone with blue eyes?
  2. What do you call someone with blonde hair?
  3. What do you call someone who has dark hair?
  4. What do you call someone who has a good education?
  5. What do you call a job with a good salary?
  6. What do you call an arrogant person?
  7. What do you call a person who is often angry?
  8. What do you call someone who is open to new experiences and opinions?
  9. What do you call someone who isn’t open to new experiences and opinions?
  10. What do you call someone with muscles?
  11. What do you call a nice, generous person?
  12. What do you call someone who isn’t lazy?
  13. What do you call an active, sociable person?

Use the different forms of compounding to make more compound adjectives to answer the questions.

  1. What do you call a crocodile that eats men?
  2. What do you call someone who writes with their left hand?
  3. What do you call a job with a bad salary?
  4. What do you call a child that behaves well?
  5. What do you call someone who looks good?


Discuss these questions with your partner using the compound adjectives.


  1. Do you prefer a specific hair or eye colour for a man/woman?
  2. Do you find muscles attractive?

Personality and lifestyle

  1. Is it important that your partner has a good salary? Why/why not?
  2. What are the two best personality characteristics for a partner? Why?
  3. What are the two worst? Why?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Listening Classes

Giving Advice: The Best Way to Quit Smoking

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I’m running the Barcelona Half-Marathon dressed as David Bowie to raise money for Cancer Research, sponsor me here:

This is a lesson plan for B1+ students on the topic of quitting smoking in which students learn the language of asking for, giving, accepting and rejecting advice and using it in a role-play. I prepared and taught this class as part of my productive skills assignment for the DELTA at International House Barcelona.

Download all the materials below:

giving-advice-problem-cards – Role Cards

Smoking TWarre Prod Skills – Powerpoint

TWarre prod skills listening comp qs – Listening questions

TWarre Prod Skills Procedure – Procedure/Teacher’s notes

TWarre prod skills sts handout – Student hand out

Audio File


Stage Time Focus Procedure Aim
Speaking  1 3 mins Closed pairs





Sts ask and answer questions about smoking from 1st slide of powerpoint (pp)


Give opportunities for 1 or 2 sts to explain how they quit.

To engage top-down knowledge and personalise topic.

Lead in to pre-listening.

Pre-listening 5 mins Closed pairs










Closed pairs

Sts brainstorm different ways to quit. Board any that are different to the 4 on slide 2: nicotine gum/patches, e-cigarettes, hypnosis.



Show 2nd slide, board pronunciation of cigarette, patches and hypnosis. Drill briefly.

/sɪɡə’ret/ /ˈpætʃɪz/ /hɪpˈnəʊsɪs/


Sts answer questions at bottom of 2nd slide.

To activate top-down knowledge further and pre-teach some vocab for listening.


To check and improve pronunciation.



Sts react to content.

Listening 5-10 mins Closed pairs
















Introduce characters and situation from listening with 3rd slide.



Give out listening comprehension handout. Sts listen and answer 3 questions from handout:

1.       What methods does Joanne recommend?

2.       What methods does Ian recommend?

3.       Which method does Katy decide to try?

Replay as needed, break into two parts if necessary.


Check answers across class.


Give out handout, sts listen again with tape script. “Any questions?”

To ground sts in the situation of the listening.


TAVI exercise to aid sts listening comprehension. Secondary aim: to introduce exponents of advice in context.








To clear up doubts.

Language focus 10 mins Closed pairs
















OC/closed pairs

Sts categorise the exponents listed on the handout by meaning. Elicit correct categories for first 2/3. Show slide 4 with first 3 in correct categories.


While sts do this board all exponents  in categories, add phonetic script for pronunciation focus:

Drill pronunciation of:

If I were you, I’d…

/ɪf ˈaɪ wə ju: aɪd/ Stress “I” and “you”

That’s a good idea

/ðæts ə ɡʊd aɪˈdɪə/ stress “that’s”

Why don’t you try

/waɪ dəʊnt jə traɪ/ notice weak “you” compared to in “If I were you”


Sts analyse grammar of components. Use 5th slide to give examples, then answers.

Focus on meaning








Focus on form: pronunciation, elements of connected speech.





Focus on form: grammar, verb patterns.

Speaking – controlled practice 1 2 mins Grps of 3 Sts use the transcript to practice the dialogue from listening.


Monitor and correct pronunciation.

Controlled practice of exponents without pressure of creating new sentences.
Writing + speaking controlled practice 2 5-10 mins OC

















Grps of 3

Sts write their own dialogue. Explain that we’ll do an example together on the board. Students don’t write anything yet.


Label one strong group of students A-C, choose strongest student to be A.


Give A a problem card.


Using cued dialogue on 6th slide model a dialogue on the board.


Sts create their own dialogues in the space on the handout. Monitor and correct written form, board vocabulary.


Sts read their dialogues.

Scaffolded controlled practice of exponents without performance pressure.











Spoken controlled practice.

Speaking controlled practice 3 10 mins Rotating groups of 3 A’s stand up and rotate to the next group. They explain their problem to the new group who give them advice. Less structured, A is now free to accept/reject advice.


Repeat until all A’s have spoken to all groups.

Less scaffolded controlled speaking practice.
Wrap-up 5 mins OC A’s tell class the best advice they received. Focus sts attention to emergent language. Sts respond to activity + develop fluency.

Student’s handout


Katy: Hi guys, I need your help with a problem I’m having. I want to give up smoking but I’m finding it very difficult. What should I do?

Joanne: Well, if I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually. You know, smoke 10 cigarettes today, then 9 tomorrow, 8 the next day until you’ve stopped.

Katy: Hhmmm, I don’t think that’ll work. I tried it last year and it was too difficult.

Ian: I think you should buy an electronic cigarette. My girlfriend has one and she loves it!

Katy: I’m not sure. I think they’re bad for me too.

Joanne: Ok well, why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches? My sister used them to give up.

Katy: Ok, that’s a good idea.

Ian: Or you could try hypnosis, my friend Sarah is a hypnotist, I could give you her number.

Katy: Hhmm, maybe not. I think I’ll try the nicotine chewing gum. Thanks for your advice guys.


Put the expressions in bold (1-10) in the correct box (A-D)

  1. What should I do?
  2. If I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually.
  3. I don’t think that’ll work.
  4. I think you should buy an electronic cigarette.
  5. I’m not sure. I think they’re bad for me too.
  6. Why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches?
  7. Ok, that’s a good idea.
  8. You could try
  9. Hhmm, maybe not. I think I’ll try the nicotine chewing gum.
  10. I recommend giving up gradually
A.      Asking for advice. B.      Giving advice. C.      Accepting advice. D.      Rejecting advice.









Look at the expressions in the language exercise, how does the grammar work?

  1. If I were you, I’d try to stop smoking gradually.

If I were you, I’d + BASE FORM (stop/go/have/buy etc.)

  1. I think you should buy an electronic cigarette.

I think you should + __________________________________

  1. Why don’t you try nicotine chewing gum or patches?

Why don’t you + _____________________________________

  1. You could try hypnosis/going to a hypnotist.

You could try + _________________________________________

  1. I recommend giving up gradually.

I recommend + _______________________________________

Now practice the dialogue in groups of 3, one person is Katy, one is Ian and one is Joanne.

Writing a new dialogue

Write a new dialogue with your group, you HAVE TO follow the structure below.

A: Hi guys, I need your help with a problem I’m having. (Explain problem)____________________________. What should I do?

B: Well, if I were you, I’d (gives advice) ____________________.

A: (rejects advice) ___________________________.

C: (gives advice) ___________________________.

A: (rejects advice) ____________________________.

B: Ok well, (gives advice) ___________________________.

A: (rejects advice) ____________________________.

C: (gives advice) ______________________________.

A: (accepts advice) __________________________. Thanks for your advice guys!

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Used to/would – Past habit and states

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Just a quick note…

Before you use these materials… We’ve created a new podcast aimed at B2+ level English students and teachers alike. You can listen for free at our SoundCloud page below. You can download teacher’s notes to accompany them from our Facebook page or from this blog. All comments and feedback welcome! Give us a like and a share 😉

Used to/would – Past habit and states

This is a lesson plan for intermediate students to practice “used to” and “would” to talk about past habits and states using videos and conversation.

Download the lesson plan and student’s worksheet here:

Used to would lesson plan

Used to would students sheet

Used to

Warmer: 2 truths and a lie, write three sentences about yourself using “used to”, 2 true and 1 lie. Try to write 2 with state verbs and 1 with an action verb like this:

  1. I used to have shoulder length hair.
  2. I used to dance ballet when I was a child.
  3. I used to be a builder before I was a teacher.

What does used to mean here?

A past state or habit which is not true now.

What are the negative and interrogative forms?

I used to dance ballet.

I didn’t use to dance ballet.

Did you use to dance ballet?

Drill pronunciation: weak “to” in “used to” and the “ed” in “used” is not pronounced.

Remember: Used to only exists in the past, to talk about present habit we use the present simple with adverbs of frequency.

I usually/normally/tend to go to the gym twice a week.


“Would” can replace “used to” in one of the three sentences at the top of the page with exactly the same meaning. In which sentence is would possible?

  1. I would/used to dance ballet when I was a child.

We can use “would” with the same meaning as “used to” only when we’re talking about past actions or habits not when we’re talking about states.

When I was at uni I would/used to get up at 11am. (get up = action/habit)

When I was a child I would/used to have blonde hair. (have = state)

Look at the following sentences, decide if we can only use “used to” or if “would” is also possible.

  1. When I lived in Japan I would/used to eat sushi every day.
  2. When I was at school we used to/would play hopscotch in the playground.
  3. When I was a kid I didn’t use to/wouldn’t like olives.
  4. My dad used to/would have a big green land rover.
  5. He used to/would drive it through the forest on bumpy tracks.
  6. When I was a teenager I used to/would love heavy metal music, now it’s too loud for me.


Watch the video and make sentences about it.

Arnold used to be a bodybuilder. He would lift weights all day. He used to be the governor of California.


  1. What games did you use to play when you were a child?
  2. Where did you use to go on holiday?
  3. Are there any foods or drinks that you used to hate when you were young that you like now?
  4. What did you use to look like when you were a teenager?
  5. What hairstyle did you use to have?
  6. What clothes did you use to have?
  7. Were you badly behaved at school? What bad things did you use to do?
  8. What did you use to do at the weekends?
  9. What did you use to do at Christmas?
  10. How has the place where you grew up changed in your lifetime?

There used to be a (park/playground etc.)

Follow up:

Students write a composition detailing all of the things that they used to do when they were younger and explaining why they don’t do them anymore.

Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes

Quantifiers Worksheet

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This is a worksheet for intermediate students to practice quantifiers. It’s written with Catalan students from Barcelona in mind so you might want to edit some of the discussion questions.

Download the handout here:

Quantifiers Worksheet

All of

Most of

Some of

A few of         + A determiner + noun

None of        (my/your/his/the/etc.)

Neither of

Both of




A few       + a noun



All (of) my siblings are married.*

Both (of) my siblings are married.*

Most of his family have left the country.

A few of the people I went to school with are coming to visit.

None of her friends live in the village now.

Neither of her parents can drive.


*With all and both the “of” is optional.

All vegetables are good for you.

Most people prefer summer to winter.

Some people don’t like cheese.

A few places still let you smoke inside.

Neither hat was big enough for her.

Both men were extremely drunk.

Which of these sentences is incorrect?

  1. I love the rock music.
  2. I loved the music that they were playing last night.
  3. Most of the English people drink too much.
  4. Most of the people I know drink too much.

REMEMBER: When we’re speaking in general we don’t use “the”:

Most English people drink too much.

I like rock music.

Choose the correct option to complete the sentences:

  1. A few of/A few the people who came to the party didn’t bring presents.
  2. Neither/Neither of my pens worked so I couldn’t take notes.
  3. Most of/Most Spanish people support either Barça or Madrid.
  4. All of/all children should play outside 3 times a week.
  5. All of/all the children in my school come from the same area.
  6. Most/Most of restaurants close at midnight.
  7. Most/Most of the restaurants on my street are Turkish.


  1. How many of your friends did you meet at school?
  2. How many of your friends speak English?
  3. How many of your friends speak Mandarin Chinese?
  4. Do your classmates do sports?
  5. Do any of your siblings smoke?
  6. How many people take a siesta in Catalonia?
  7. How many people take a siesta in the rest of Spain?
  8. How many people like bullfighting in Catalonia?
  9. How many people like bullfighting in the rest of Spain?
  10. Did your parents let you play in the street when you were little?
  11. Did your parents let you smoke when you were at school?
  12. Where did your parents grow up?
  13. Where did your siblings go to school?
  14. How many people support Barça in Barcelona?
  15. How many people support Espanyol?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes


Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

Before you use these materials, why not check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:


This is a lesson plan for intermediate students to practice different uses of the infinitive through games and conversation.

You will need the lesson plan, students worksheet and articulate cards.

Infinitives Lesson Plan

Infinitives students sheet

Articulate Object Cards


Play the classic memory game: “I went to the shops to buy…”

Teacher starts: “I went to the shops to buy a loaf of bread” (encourage use of partitives – loaf of bread, bar of soap, carton of milk etc.)

Next student must repeat the sentence and add another item, continue until you have a huge shopping list of items.

Infinitives of purpose

Have students repeat back the sentences “I went to the shops to buy…”

Ask them what the infinitive expresses? Purpose/reason, introduce the title: infinitives of purpose. Students complete the matching exercise.

Match the sentences halves 1-6 a-f to make sentences using the infinitive of purpose.

1.       I go to the gym 3 times a week a.       To give to her mother.
2.       I went to the supermarket b.      To see the new Woody Allen film.
3.       We went to the cinema c.       To do the weekly shop.
4.       I drove all night just d.      To clean underneath it.
5.       He lifted up the sofa e.      To keep fit.
6.       She bought chocolates f.        To see you.

Key: 1-e, 2-c, 3-b, 4-f, 5-d, 6-a.

In these sentences we can also use “in order to” to be more formal.

We often use “so as” with a negative infinitive to express purpose.

She’s leaving now so as not to arrive late.

1.       She entered the house quietly a.       So as not to hurt his feelings.
2.       He turned the volume down b.      So as not to wake the children.
3.       She stopped eating chocolate c.       So as not to burn the onions.
4.       They told him the terrible picture was lovely d.      So as not to miss the start of the film.
5.       He turned the heat down e.      So as not to annoy the neighbours.
6.       They hurried f.        So as not to put on weight.

Key: 1-b, 2-e, 3-f, 4-a, 5-c, 6-d.

Game – Articulate

Cut up the object cards on the hand out. Split class into teams. Each team has 1 minute to describe the objects on the cards using an infinitive of purpose:

It’s an object we use to eat soup. Spoon!

For each card they get 1 point.

Verbs with infinitives

The following verbs are all followed by the infinitive. Use them to answer the questions below.

Decide Want Need Would like/love Learn Pretend Promise Forget + an obligation
  1. What did you want to be when you were a child?
  2. Do you always keep your promises?
  3. Have you ever broken a promise?
  4. When did you learn to ride a bike?
  5. Have you ever forgotten to lock your door?
  6. Have you ever forgotten to pick up your keys?
  7. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever forgotten to do?
  8. Who did you pretend to be when you were playing as a child?
  9. Have you made any big decisions recently? What have you decided to do?
  10. What would you like/love to do this year?
  11. What do you want to have for dinner tonight? What do you think you will have?
  12. Is there anything important you need to do this week? Do you think you will do it?
Posted in Conversation Classes, Grammar Classes, Video Classes

Zero Conditional: Hiccup Cures!

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Follow me on twitter @RobbioDobbio

This is a lesson plan to help students put the zero conditional into practice in conversation.

Download it here:

Zero Conditional


Ask students the following: What do you do when you get hiccups?

Show them the following video and tell them to write down as many causes and cures for hiccups as they can.

Mine the video for vocabulary:

Spasm, stuck, breathe, gasp, exhale/inhale, hold your breath, difference between breathe (verb, long vowel sound) and breath (noun, short vowel sound), chug, pull, tongue, drink from, wrong side, take a sip, swallow, tip your head back, plug your nose, a teaspoon of, sprinkle, squeeze your pinky, pressure point, pinch, recite, backwards, think of, bald, cure/get rid of hiccups.

Ask them which methods from the video they use.

Model a few sentences on the board:

When/whenever I get hiccups, I ask a friend to scare me.

Tell students that this is called the zero conditional. Give out the first page of the handout and go over it quickly.

We use the zero conditional to talk about general or scientific truths and habits.

If you heat ice, it melts. (General truth)

If I drink coffee after 6pm, I can’t sleep. (Habit)

We also use it to talk about what people should do in certain situations.

If you feel tired, stop for a rest.

If you feel ill, take your medicine.

The formula is:

If/when/whenever + present simple, present simple.

Matching exercise

Match numbers 1-5 with letters a-e to make zero conditional sentences.

1.     If it rains, a.     The roads are dangerous.
2.     If it snows, b.     I try a new flavour of ice-cream
3.     Whenever I visit Rome, c.      Tell a security guard.
4.     If you see someone stealing d.     It boils.
5.     When water reaches 100º C, e.     We play basketball inside.

Matching Key

1-e, 2-a, 3-b, 4-c, 5-d

Conversation exercise

Cut the following cards up. Students take them one at a time and discuss them in conversation. Encourage the use of: “Me too/neither” or “So/neither do I”

Whenever I go on holiday… When I go to the dentist…
If I drink too much red wine… Whenever the sales are on…
If I see a beggar in the street… If I see a tourist with their bag open…
When I go to the beach, I always… When it’s my birthday…
If I’m feeling blue… Whenever I need help at work/school…
If I eat too much… When I watch a sad film at the cinema…
When I forget to do something important at home… If I have free time…
Whenever I go to the city centre… When I visit my relatives…
If someone asks me for directions in the street… If you get hiccups…
If you have a hangover… If you feel ill at work/school…
If you need to take a day off… When I have too much work to do…

Here are some alternatives for teenage students:

When I get bored… If I feel sleepy at school…
If I drop my ice-cream on the floor… If a wasp comes near me…
If I can’t sleep… If my brother/sister annoys me…
When I don’t feel like going to school… When my teacher puts a video on…
When I forget to do my homework… If I get sunburnt…

Photo credit:

Video credit: buzzfeedyellow

Posted in Grammar Classes



Before you use these materials, why no check out our new podcast for learners and teachers alike? It’s called 2Ts in a Pod, have a listen here:

This is an activity to practice “too and enough” through a gap fill and then a discussion based on pictures.

You will need the following handouts:

Story, grammar explanation and gap-fill:

Too Enough

Pictures for discussion:

Too enough pics

Part 1: Warmer Discussion

Write on the board:

“Footballers earn too much money.”

“Teachers don’t earn enough money.”

Have students discuss the two sentences.

Part 2: Listening to a story

Read the following story to students,tell them to write down any uses of too and enough that they hear.

Beach story:

The other day I went to the beach with my family. It was a scorching day, I asked my friend to come but he said it was too hot to go to the beach. We got in the car and drove to the beach. The beach was very crowded.

“Oh no! There are too many people here!” said my Mum.

“Don’t worry, there’s enough space for everyone.” said my Dad.

We unpacked the car and walked down to the beach. We put our towels down and my sister and I decided to go for a swim. We ran to the water and jumped in.

“Brrrrr!” said my sister. “It’s too cold for me!” and she ran back to my Mum and Dad. I continued swimming for a few minutes when suddenly I saw people windsurfing and there was a shop renting windsurfing boards, it looked so much fun. I ran back to my parents and asked them if I could try it.

“I’m not sure.” said my Mum. “Do you think he’s old enough?” she asked my Dad.

“I think he’s old enough, but is he strong enough? I think the sail will be too heavy for you son.”

“Please please please Dad!” I begged.

“Ok, let’s go and see how much it costs.” So we walked down to shop. It cost €20 to rent the board for the whole day.

“Buff!” said my Dad. “I think that’s too expensive, I don’t have enough money to pay that much.” So Dad negotiated and in the end we paid €15 for the day. We took the board out into the water and I tried to lift the sail but it was too heavy.

“Come on son! You’re not trying hard enough!” said my Dad. So I took the sail with both hands and made a big effort. I didn’t want my dad to think I wasn’t strong enough to lift it. The sail came out of the water and the board started moving across the water it was the most amazing feeling! We spent the whole day windsurfing, it was one of the best days of my life.

Part 3: Guided Discovery

Tell students to dictate all of the examples back to you, but them on the board and use them to do a guided discovery of the rules outlined in the handout.

Too and enough indicate degree. They are used with adjectives.

  • Too means more than what is needed.
  • Enough means sufficient.


He is too old to play football with the kids.
Dave is intelligent enough to do the right thing.
You’re not working fast enough
I don’t have enough time.
He has too many friends.
Footballers earn too much money.

Use of too and enough

1.Enough precedes adjectives and adverbs:

He isn’t old enough to watch this program.
We’re not walking quickly  enough.

2.Enough may also precede  nouns:

We have enough money 
I haven’t got enough money to buy this computer.

3.Too comes before adjectives and adverbs:

It’s too hot to wear that coat.
I was driving too fast.

  1. Too may also come before nouns when it is used with the expressions too much and too many.
  2. Too much is used before uncountable nouns.

There is too much salt in this food.

  1. Too many is used before countable nouns

There are too many students in this classroom.

Part 4: Gap fill

Have students complete the gap-fill at the bottom of the handout.

Fill in the correct word (too or enough).

  1. I left the coffee for a minute to cool because it was                                  hot to drink.
  2. He wasn’t strong                                   to lift that heavy box.
  3. There aren’t                                   policemen in our town.
  4. Do you have                                   information to help me with this problem?
  5. It is                                   difficult  for a little child to do.
  6. I do not have                                   time to prepare dinner.
  7. I didn’t buy the car because it was                                   expensive.
  8. He didn’t work hard                                   to pass the exam.
  9. My mum can’t sleep because she drinks                                   much coffee.
  10. She isn’t old                                   to start driving.

Key: 1-too, 2-enough, 3-enough, 4-enough, 5-too, 6-enough, 7-too, 8-enough, 9-too, 10-enough.

Part 5: Picture Discussion (Free production) 

Show the pictures in the hand out and have students make as many sentences as possible using the structures. Ask some questions to prompt. Do you think there are too many tourists in the city?

Gap fill credit:

Grammar explanation credit:

English grammar – Too & enough