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Четверг, 19 января 2017 15:58

Cambridge ESOL Examinations

Опубликовано в Письмо
Среда, 10 февраля 2016 10:11

Weather forecast

Опубликовано в Аудио / Видео
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:54

Small Talk

Small Talk

Intro

A stranger stands next to you at a bus stop. You wait in line at the bank. Your teacher is late for class. What can you do with this time? You can make small talk. When you meet a new person, you can have a short, simple conversation. This is small talk. It’s a way to get to know someone. Some of the most popular small talk topics include the weather, sports, family, and work. These are all universaltopics that anyone can talk about.

Some people think that small talk is difficult. They feel shy, or they don’t feel prepared to talk to strangers. Other people even think that small talk is cliche. They prefer to have more meaningful conversations, and they don’t want to talk about simple things like the weather. But small talk is a great way to meet new friends and learn new things. Sometimes, all you need is a smile to begin a conversation.

Jessica is going to go on a date with her secret admirer, but she is nervous. Watch today’s English lesson to hear Sara’s small talk ideas.

Dialogue

Sara_R: Marni said you have a secret admirer.
Jessica: Someone has been leaving me gifts. I’m thinking about meeting him for coffee this Friday.
Sara_R: You’re not sure?
Jessica: I am so bad at small talk.
Sara_R: It’s normal to feel shy on a first date.
Jessica: Not just on first dates. I am always bad at small talk. I never know what to say to someone who I’ve just met.
Sara_R: You can ask him about the weather.
Jessica: But that’s so cliche. I want to talk about more meaningful things.
Sara_R: I hear what you’re saying. Hey, I have an idea! Make a list before you go of things to ask him about.
Jessica: Like what?
Sara_R: Ask him about his family. Ask him which countries he’s visited, or if he hasn’t traveled, where he wants to go. Ask about his job.
Jessica: But isn’t that kind of boring?
Sara_R: Not at all. Family, travel, work… those are all universal topics that everyone can talk about. It’s how people get to knoweach other, whether you’re on a date, or taking a class together, or waiting for the bus…
Jessica: OK. But will you help me? I want to feel prepared.
Sara_R: Of course! Small Talk 101. Tomorrow afternoon?
Jessica: Great. Thank you, Sara.
Sara_R: I’m happy to do it.

Discussion

Jessica’s secret admirer has been giving her many presents. She tells Sara that she will probably go on a date with him. But she is very nervous about making small talk. She feels like she has nothing to say. Sara gives her some ideas. She suggests talking about the weather, but Jessica wants to have a deeper, meaningful conversation.

Sara gives Jessica more ideas, including making a list of topics that she could talk about. Jessica is afraid that these simple topics will be boring and cliche, but Sara says that they are universal and easy for all people to talk about. Jessica wants more help in order to be prepared, so Sara says that she will give her a class on Small Talk 101.

Do you like to make small talk with strangers? What is the most interesting thing you learned from small talk?

Grammar Point

Present Perfect Progressive

Jessica is telling Sara about her secret admirer. She says, “Someone has been leaving me gifts.” She uses the present perfect progressive.

We form the present perfect progressive (sometimes called the “present perfect continuous”) with have/has been + main verb + ing. We use this tense to talk about an on-going action that began in the past, is still in progress, and may continue into the future.

For example, you might say, “I have been thinking about getting a new car for weeks.” You first thought of getting a new car weeks ago, you’re currently thinking of getting one, and unless you buy one or decide not to buy one right now, you’ll continue thinking about it.

When Jessica says, “Someone has been leaving me gifts,” she uses the present perfect progressive to show that he began leaving gifts in the past, he is still leaving gifts, and he will probably continue to leave gifts.

Which is correct, “We have thinking about moving to China,” or, “We have been thinking about moving to China”?

Quiz

  1. Which of these is not a universal small talk topic?

  2. Sara does not suggest __.

  3. Your friend says, “I hear what you’re saying.” What does this mean?

  4. We do not use the present perfect progressive to talk about __.

Опубликовано в Говорение
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:52

E.g. sentenses

 ExplanationPastPresentFuture
  Simple Past Simple Present Future I Simple
a moment in time action that takes place once, never or several times He played football every Tuesday. He plays football every Tuesday. He will / is going to play football every Tuesday.
actions that happen one after another He played football and then he went home. He plays football and then he goes home. He will play football and then he will go home.
state He loved football. He loves football. He will love football.
  Past Progressive Present Progressive Future I Progressive
a period of time action going on at that moment He was playing football. He is playing football. He will be playing football.
actions taking place at the same time He was playing football and she was watching. He is playing football and she is watching. He will be playing football and she will be watching.
  Past Perfect Simple Present Perfect Simple Future II Simple
result action taking place before a certain moment in time; emphasises the result He had won five matches until that day. He has won five matches so far. He will have won five matches by then.
  Past Perfect Progressive Present Perfect Progressive Future II Progressive
Course / Duration action taking place before a certain moment in time (and beyond), emphasises the duration He had been playing football for ten years. He has been playing football for ten years. He will have been playing football for ten years.
Опубликовано в Грамматика
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:48

Table of English Tenses

tenseAffirmative/Negative/QuestionUseSignal Words
Simple Present A: He speaks.
N: He does not speak.
Q: Does he speak?
  • action in the present taking place once, never or several times
  • facts
  • actions taking place one after another
  • action set by a timetable or schedule
always, every …, never, normally, often, seldom, sometimes, usually
if sentences type I (If Italk, …)
Present Progressive A: He is speaking.
N: He is not speaking.
Q: Is he speaking?
  • action taking place in the moment of speaking
  • action taking place only for a limited period of time
  • action arranged for the future
at the moment, just, just now, Listen!, Look!, now, right now
Simple Past A: He spoke.
N: He did not speak.
Q: Did he speak?
  • action in the past taking placeonce, never or several times
  • actions taking place one after another
  • action taking place in the middle of another action
yesterday, 2 minutes ago, in 1990, the other day, last Friday
if sentence type II (If Italked, …)
Past Progressive A: He was speaking.
N: He was not speaking.
Q: Was he speaking?
  • action going on at a certain time in the past
  • actions taking place at the same time
  • action in the past that is interrupted by another action
when, while, as long as
Present Perfect Simple A: He has spoken.
N: He has not spoken.
Q: Has he spoken?
  • putting emphasis on the result
  • action that is still going on
  • action that stopped recently
  • finished action that has an influence on the present
  • action that has taken place once, never or several times before the moment of speaking
already, ever, just, never, not yet, so far, till now, up to now
Present Perfect Progressive A: He has been speaking.
N: He has not been speaking.
Q: Has he been speaking?
  • putting emphasis on the course or duration (not the result)
  • action that recently stopped or is still going on
  • finished action that influenced the present
all day, for 4 years, since 1993, how long?, the whole week
Past Perfect Simple A: He had spoken.
N: He had not spoken.
Q: Had he spoken?
  • action taking place before a certain time in the past
  • sometimes interchangeable with past perfect progressive
  • putting emphasis only on thefact (not the duration)
already, just, never, not yet, once, until that day
if sentence type III (If Ihad talked, …)
Past Perfect Progressive A: He had been speaking.
N: He had not been speaking.
Q: Had he been speaking?
  • action taking place before a certain time in the past
  • sometimes interchangeable with past perfect simple
  • putting emphasis on theduration or course of an action
for, since, the whole day, all day
Future I Simple A: He will speak.
N: He will not speak.
Q: Will he speak?
  • action in the future that cannot be influenced
  • spontaneous decision
  • assumption with regard to the future
in a year, next …, tomorrow
If-Satz Typ I (If you ask her, she will help you.)
assumption: I think, probably, perhaps
Future I Simple

(going to)

A: He is going to speak.
N: He is not going to speak.
Q: Is he going to speak?
  • decision made for the future
  • conclusion with regard to the future
in one year, next week, tomorrow
Future I Progressive A: He will be speaking.
N: He will not be speaking.
Q: Will he be speaking?
  • action that is going on at a certain time in the future
  • action that is sure to happen in the near future
in one year, next week, tomorrow
Future II Simple A: He will have spoken.
N: He will not have spoken.
Q: Will he have spoken?
  • action that will be finished at a certain time in the future
by Monday, in a week
Future II Progressive A: He will have been speaking.
N: He will not have been speaking.
Q: Will he have been speaking?
  • action taking place before a certain time in the future
  • putting emphasis on the courseof an action
for …, the last couple of hours, all day long
Conditional I Simple A: He would speak.
N: He would not speak.
Q: Would he speak?
  • action that might take place
if sentences type II
(If I were you, I would go home.)
Conditional I Progressive A: He would be speaking.
N: He would not be speaking.
Q: Would he be speaking?
  • action that might take place
  • putting emphasis on the course/ duration of the action
 
Conditional II Simple A: He would have spoken.
N: He would not have spoken.
Q: Would he have spoken?
  • action that might have taken place in the past
if sentences type III
(If I had seen that, Iwould have helped.)
Conditional II Progressive A: He would have been speaking.
N: He would not have been speaking.
Q: Would he have been speaking?
  • action that might have taken place in the past
  • puts emphasis on the course /duration of the action
 
Опубликовано в Грамматика
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:46

New Zealand

Maori name: Aotearoa (= land of the white cloud)
Capital: Wellington
Size: 270,534 km²
Population: 3.5 million
Borders: no direct borders; surrounded by sea (South Pacific)
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Official languages: English, Maori
Nationality / People: A person of New Zealand nationality is a New Zealander.
Local time: 23:46 NZST (Tuesday, 9th February 2016)

Other interesting facts:

The country's nearest neighbour is Australia, which lies more than 1,600 km northwest of New Zealand. New Zealand comprises two main islands (North Island and South Island) and a number of small islands, some of which are hundreds of kilometres from the main islands.

Опубликовано в Страноведение
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:45

Australia

Official name: Commonwealth of Australia
Capital: Canberra
Size: 7.7 million km²
Population: 21 million
Borders: no direct borders; Timor Sea and Arafura Sea (northwest), Torres Strait (northeast), Great Barrier Reef (northeast), Tasman Sea (southeast), Indian Ocean (south)
Currency: Australian Dollar
Official language: English
Nationality / People A person of Australian nationality is an Australian.
Local time: Perth: 19:45 WST (Tuesday, 9th February 2016)
Sydney: 21:45 EST (Tuesday, 9th February 2016)

Other interesting facts:

Australia is not only a country but also the smallest continent.

Опубликовано в Страноведение
Вторник, 09 февраля 2016 11:40

Ireland

Accompany us on our virtual Tour around Ireland. We've picked the nicest places on the Emerald Isle for you to explore.

Official name: Republic of Ireland
Irish name: Éire
Capital: Dublin
Size: 70,282 km²
Population: 3.5 million
Borders: Northern Ireland (north), Irish Sea (east), Atlantic Ocean (south, west)
Currency: Euro
Official languages: English, Irish
Nationality / People: A person of Irish nationality is an Irishman or an Irishwoman.
Local time: 11:43 GMT (Tuesday, 9th February 2016)

Other interesting facts:

As Ireland is famous for its green countryside, it is also known as the Emerald Isle (= green island).

Опубликовано в Страноведение
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