Author Archives: impact

Introducing yourself in English

Introducing yourself in English

Read the conversation below and practise introducing yourself in English.


John: Hello.
Sarah: Hi. How are you?
John: I’m fine thanks and you?
Sarah: I’m very well. My name is Sarah.
John: My name is John.
Sarah: I’m Sarah. Nice to meet you.
John: Nice to meet you too.


Introducing other people

Read the conversation below and practise introducing other people in English.

Sarah: John, this is my friend Helen.
John: Hello Helen. Pleasure to meet you. My name is John.
Helen: Hi John, my name’s Helen. Nice to meet you too.


Now practice introducing yourself – what are the missing words from this conversation?

Complete the gaps in the introducing yourself exercise below.

Susan: Hello. _____________ Susan.

David: Hello Susan. I’m David. _____________ meet you.

Susan: And you.

Click here to see the full conversation.

Susan: Hello. My name is Susan.

David: Hello Susan. I’m David. Pleased / Nice meet you.

Susan: And you.


Now practice introducing other people – what are the missing words from this conversation?

Complete the introductions below.

David: Helen, _____________ Susan.

Helen: Hello Susan. Lovely to meet you. _____________ Helen.

Susan: Pleasure to meet you, Helen.

Click here to see the full conversation.

David: Helen, this is Susan.

Helen: Hello Susan. Lovely to meet you. My name is Helen.

Susan: Pleasure to meet you, Helen.


Adjective collocations (B2)


English collocations are two words together that equal one meaning- they almost always combine NOUNS or ADJECTIVES together. Some popular collocations have the feeling/meaning of ‘absolutely’ for the first word.

Adjective collocations exercise 1

In the following exercises these kind of collocations are used. Their function is as an adjective.

Exercise 1: Read the sentences, decide on the correct second word in the collocation (which is the main word) and then check at the end.

1. My brother just sits around the house all day and does nothing. He’s so lazy… he’s bone _____!
a) idle b) dead

click here to see the answer

The correct answer is bone idle (meaning extremely lazy)

2. It’s impossible to see anything in here! It’s pitch _____.
a) dark b) night

click here to see the answer

The correct answer is pitch dark (meaning there is no light)

3. I’m going to buy a used car. I can’t afford a brand _____ one.
a) new b) shiny

click here to see the answer

The correct answer is brand new (meaning it’s completely new)

4. Breakfast is ready, where’s Tom? I’ll check- oh dear, I can’t wake him…he’s fast _____!
a) snoring b) asleep

click here to see the answer

The correct answer is fast asleep (meaning sleeping heavily, not easily woken up)

5. Becky usually looks sleepy at breakfast time, but today she looks wide _____.
a) happy b) awake

click here to see the answer

The correct answer is wide awake (meaning there is she’s completely alert)

Adjective collocations exercise 2

Exercise 2: Put a completed, correct collocation from Exercise 1 into each gap in the following dialogue and then check your answer.

A: “Come on, wake up. You’ll be late for work. You really need aalarm clock – your old one is not loud enough!”.

B: “Leave me alone…I wasand you woke me up! It must be only 6.00am…the room is still”.

A: “Wrong! It’s after 7.00. The room’s dark because it’s raining hard outside. Anyway, you should benow so just go and have breakfast”.

B: “Not now thanks, I’m not hungry, just sleepy…I’m going back to bed for a bit longer”.

A: “Oh my goodness, you really are, aren’t you”?!

Show the answers
ANSWERS: 1. brand new 2. fast asleep 3. pitch dark 4. wide awake 5. bone idle


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Comparative adjective exercises (A1)

Before you take this test, make sure you have read the comparative adjectives page.

Comparative adjective exercisesQuestion #1: Horses are _____ dogs.

A. the faster
B. faster than
C. faster as
D. the faster than

Show answer

The correct answer is B

Question #2: Jack is 1m 85cm tall. Jane is 1m 60cm. Jane is _________ Jack.

A. more shorter than
B. shorter than
C. more short than
D. shortter than

Show answer

The correct answer is B

Question #3: Jon is 80kg. Jane is 70kg. John is _________ Jane.

A. is heavIer than
B. is heavYer than
C. is the heavier than
D. is heavy than

Show answer

The correct answer is A

Question #4: She’s always smiling and laughing – she’s much _________ me.

A. more happier
B. happier
C. happier than
D. more happy

Show answer

The correct answer is C

Question #5: John was stuck in traffic so he arrived ________ Dave.

A. more late than
B. latter than
C. the latter than
D. later than

Show answer

The correct answer is D

Question #6: Jane runs her own business and travels around the world. Joe doesn’t have a job. Jane is _________ than Joe.

A. more success than
B. more successful than
C. more successful of
D. successfuller than

Show answer

The correct answer is B

Question #7: This is a very old building. I want to live somewhere _________.

A. moderner than
B. more modern
C. more modern than
D. moderner

Show answer

The correct answer is B

Question #8: Which of these is INCORRECT?

A. taller than
B. widder than
C. faster than
D. bigger than

Show answer

The correct answer is B

Dependent prepositions with verbs, adjectives and nouns (C1)

Dependent prepositions (with verbs, adjectives and nouns)

Certain verbs, adjectives and nouns naturally take certain prepositions when placed in a sentence – these are called dependent prepositions.

For example, you can object to (something), participate in (something), complain about (something).

Unfortunately there are no fixed rules that can help you decide which dependent prepositions should be placed with which words, you really just need to learn them.

Remember that sometimes usage of different dependent prepositions change the meaning.

dependent prepositionsDependent prepositions example 1:

He is angry with us. (angry with ‘someone’)

He is angry about the problem. (angry about ‘a situation’)

Dependent prepositions example 2:

He is good at football (meaning he has skill / ability in something – he is good at (playing) football).

She is good with children (meaning she has a positive relationship with / has an affinity with…).

A teacher for example, might be good at teaching English and may be good with their students.

The best way to learn more about dependent prepostions is to make a list of your own, and then find sentences that use the structure. Google can be very useful for that. For example, if you were trying to remember that complain is generally followed by about, simply type in “complain about” in Google and see the results.

NOTE: It is important to use the speech marks (” “) around the phrase you are searching for so that only results with that phrase will come up.


Verbs and dependent prepositions Adjectives and dependent prepositions Nouns and dependent prepositions
abide by according to in agreement
abstain from accustomed to attack on
accuse (somebody) of afraid of attitude towards
add to annoyed with/about/at on behalf of
adhere to anxious about comparison between
agree with ashamed of on condition (that)
aim at/for astonished at connection between
allow for attached to cruelty towards
apologise to someone for something aware of decrease in
apply for delighted at/about delay in
approve of different from difference between/of
argue with/about dissatisfied with difficulty in/with
arrest (somebody) for doubtful about disadvantage of
ask for enthusiastic about in doubt
attend to envious of under guarantee
believe in excited about increase in
belong to famous for information about
blame (somebody) for fed up with intention of
boast about fond of knowledge of
borrow (something) from (somebody) frightened of need for
call for friendly with notice of
care for good at in order
choose between guilty of pleasure in
comment on incapable of in power
compare with interested in in practice
complain about jealous of preference for
concentrate on keen on protection from
conform to kind to reaction to
congratulate on mad at/about reason for
consent to opposed to reduction in
consist of pleased with report on
deal with popular with result of
decide on proud of rise in
excel at/in puzzled by/about at risk
excuse (somebody) for safe from room for
face up to satisfied with solution to
forgive (somebody) for sensitive to(wards) on strike
hear of/about serious about on suspicion of
hope for sick of under suspicion
insist on similar to in theory
interfere with/in sorry for/about in trouble
joke about suspicious of trouble with
laugh at sympathetic to(wards)
lend (something) to (somebody) tired of
listen to typical of
long for unaware of
mistake (somebody) for used to
object to
pay for
praise (somebody) for
prepare for
present (somebody) with
prevent (somebody) from
protest about
provide (somebody) with
punish (somebody) for
refer to
rely on
run for
save (somebody) from
sentence (somebody) to
smile at
succeed in
suffer from
stand for
talk to (somebody) about (something)
thank (somebody) for
think of/about
volunteer to
wait for
warn (somebody) about
worry about
Click here to try the dependent prepositions exercises.

Going to the movies – vocabulary (A2)

Vocabulary for talking about movies

Here is some language you can use for talking about movies (also called ‘films’ in British English). Also see ‘Going to the movies

Talking about movies in general – positive

  • The acting was amazing!
  • The sets were very impressive (the ‘set’ is the background to the filming)

Talking about movies in general – negative

  • a bit slow-moving (it takes a long time to get to the main part/action)
  • hard to follow in parts (it’s sometimes a bit confusing)
  • a bit of a let-down (quite disappointing)
  • a waste of time (stupid/ridiculous/poorly-made)

Talking about action movies

Genre (type) of movie: ‘Action’ movies

Normally involves: car chases, guns, fighting.

Common examples: Die Hard, Mad Max: Fury Road

Language you can use:

  • full-on (there’s a lot of action)
  • a bit slow-moving (it takes a long time to get to the main part/action)
  • over the top (too much to be believable – a small car accident causing a car to completely explode, for example)


Talking about romantic movies

Genre (type) of movie: ‘Romantic’ movies (also informally called ‘chick flicks’)

Normally involves: people falling in love, first dates – can also include negative events like someone dying or being really sick.

Common examples: Titanic, The Fault in our Stars

Language you can use:

  • a tear-jerker (it’s sad)
  • a chick flick (romantic movies are often watched by females – ‘chick’ in an informal word for females. NOTE: referring to a woman as a ‘chick’ can be considered rude)

Talking about thrillers

Genre (type) of movie: ‘Thrilers’

Normally involves: detectives, murders or intrigues, a more complicated plot than an action movie

Common examples: Se7en, Silence of the Lambs

Language you can use:

  • gripping
  • suspenseful
  • intriguing

Talking about comedies

Genre (type) of movie: ‘Comedies’

Normally involves: misunderstandings, funny events (generally positive overall)

Common examples: Dumb and Dumber Too

Language you can use:

  • hilarious (very funny)

Going to the movies (A2)

Going to the movies

In the following lesson you will learn how to talk about going to the movies. NOTE: ‘movies’ is American English – in British English, they are called ‘films’. Also see ‘Vocabulary for talking about the movies‘.

Asking about the movie you want to see

at-the-moviesHere are some phrases you can use to ask about a movie you want to see:

  • What happens in it?/ What’s it about? (what’s the story)
  • Who’s in it? (who are the actors)
  • Where’s it set? (where does it take place)
  • Is it worth seeing?
  • Is it as good as people say? / Is it as good as the hype? (‘the hype’ is the media about something before it is seen or heard by the public)

Discussing the movie before you see it

  • I’ve heard (a lot) about it.
  • It’s supposed to be.. excellent/very good/pretty good.
  • I’ve heard it’s / It sounds….

Planning to see a movie

  • What’s on (at the cinema)?/What’s showing?
  • Do we have to book? (reserve seats)
  • How much for the tickets?/admission?
  • What rating is it? (for example R18 means you have to be over 18 to watch it: ‘R’=Restricted to)
  • Can I use my complimentary ticket? (a complimentary ticket is usually a free or discounted ticket, but it often can’t be used for a newly-released movie).
  • Are there any concessions? (a concession is reduced price for certain groups of people, such as students or people over 65).

Now practice!

DIALOGUE 1: Find the most suitable vocabulary from the three sections above to complete the conversation.

A: Hey, any idea at the Metro cinema tonight?
B: Well, there’s Mission Impossible 5 with Tom Cruise. I’ve heard that it’s got lots of action. We could see that if you like.
A: Yeah OK, that’s good. I’ve about it from John…it’s excellent. By the way, I’ve got a couple of tickets for the Metro – I won them in a radio competition. Do you think we can use these tickets tonight?
B: No, I doubt it. Mission Impossible is a new release and those free tickets are often for older films.
A: Oh yeah, I see. Will it be busy? ?
B: Yeah, maybe we should – we don’t  want to get there and then not be able to get in!

Show the answers

what’s on?/what’s showing?
heard (a lot)
supposed to be
Do we have to book?


DIALOGUE 2: Try the same again.

A: I went to see The Hangover 4 last night.
B: Oh yes? So, is it ?
A: Actually I thought it was rather disappointing.
B: Oh, that’s a shame. So where ?
A: It’s mostly set in New York, although they go the UK too.
B: And who ?
A: Bradley Cooper and Kirsten Dunst.

Show the answers

worth seeing?/as good as people say?
is it set?/does it take place?
is in it?


DIALOGUE 3: And again.

A: Have you heard anything about that new Ben Stiller comedy? I think he’s a good actor but I don’t know anything about the film.
B: Yeah, I’ve heard about it.
A: What ?
B: I think he has to look after 20 dogs or something. I don’t know much about the story.
A: Do you want to go? It might give us a few laughs.
B: Yeah, why not? How much are tickets?
A: Well, we can use our student cards to get the price
B: Ok then, let’s go!

Show the answers
is it about?/happens in it?


Using would in the past (B1)

Using would in the past

‘used to’ and ‘would’ can both be used to talk about past actions. ‘Would’ can be used to speak about past actions as an alternative to the simple past or ‘used to’.

Both ‘would’ and ‘used to’ can be used to talk about past actions and temporary states. However we only use ‘used to’ to refer to past permanent states. For example:

  • I would walk to school everyday
  • I used to walk to school everyday


  1. I used to be a receptionist
  2. I would be a receptionist


How to use would in the past

The form of ‘would’ when used to talk about the past is the same as its use as a modal verb.


Positive and negative statements:

Subject Would Infinitive Other
I would/wouldn’t walk









Question form:

Would Subject Infinitive Other


I walk









Now practice using would in the past

Fill in the blanks with the correct form; would/used to or both.


  1. Wewalk to school everyday but get a lift home.
  2. The teachermake us take out our homework first thing.
  3. Welive in the town center before we moved.
  4. Therebe a few places to lunch in the town.
  5. Wespend all our pocket money on fries at lunch.
  6. Ilove to have a lie in on Saturday mornings.
  7. I alsolike the television shows that were on at the weekends.
  8. If it was raining at the weekends, welie on the couch and watch television for hours.
  9. When the weather was good, Ivisit my friend or meet at the mall.
  10. Iunderstand mathematics but now I’ve forgotten it all.
Show the answers
  1. Both
  2. Both
  3. Used to
  4. Used to
  5. Both.
  6. Used to
  7. Used to
  8. Both
  9. Both
  10. Used to


Describing negative emotions

Describing negative emotions

Describing negative emotions (talking about how you or other people feel) is an useful skill in English. However, there is a lot of different vocabulary that needs to be learned.

Read the sentences below and see if you know the words in bold.  Match each word with a definition below.

Describing negative emotionsA. I though it was a fancy dress party so I dressed up as a pirate, but everybody else was wearing jeans and t-shirts. I was so embarrassed!

B. I have been studying English grammar for years but still make simple mistakes. I’m so frustrated.

C. His house has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a swimming pool, and I just live in a one bedroom apartment. I’m so jealous!

D. I went on a two week holiday by myself, but I was much younger than everyone else at the hotel so I didn’t really meet any one. I was quite lonely actually.

E. I was studying late last night and I had to get up at 5am to get to work. I’m exhausted!



Feeling uncomfortable with yourself because of something you did that socially awkward or made you feel foolish in front of others.
Show answer


Feeling of being annoyed because you cannot change or achieve something.
Show answer


Feeling of being unhappy with what you have because you think someone else has something better or that you are being missed out / ignored.
Show answer


Feeling of being alone (in a negative sense). Wanting to be involved in something with other people.
Show answer


Extremely tired, no energy remaining.
Show answer



Now use the five words describing negative emotions to complete the situations.

Match the feeling with THREE situations.

1. Embarrassed
2. Frustrated
3. Jealous
4. Lonely
5. Exhausted

a) Jenny went to a 3 day rock festival. It was really fun but she didn’t sleep much at all during it.
Jenny was
Show answer


b) Kate was rushing to catch a bus but she slipped over. All the people on the bus saw her and started laughing.
Kate was
Show answer


c) Kelly is trying to talk to her boyfriend on the phone but the reception is poor. She can’t hear what he is saying.
Kelly was
Show answer


d) Mark started his new job today as a waiter. He accidentally spilled wine all over a customer.
Mark was
Show answer


e) John and Tom ordered different meals at a restaurant. John’s meal looks bigger and better. Tom wishes he ordered what John ordered.
Tom was
Show answer


f) Mark keeps talking to his wife about a woman he met at work. She sounds great. But she doesn’t like how he keeps talking about her.
Mark’s wife was
Show answer


g) Rick moved abroad. He is having trouble making new friends.
Rick is
Show answer


h) Max just ran a marathon. He is breathing hard and sweating a lot.
Max is 
Show answer


i) Jenny’s housemate moved out to live with her boyfriend. They were not only housemates but best friends. Now she has nobody to talk to when she comes home.
Jenny is 
Show answer


j) Mark is a teacher. His students never do their homework. He doesn’t know what to do.
Mark is
Show answer


k) John’s shorts fell down while he was playing basketball.
John was
Show answer


l) John’s girlfriend recently broke up with him. He feels lost without her. They did everything together.
John is 
Show answer


m) Jack sees his girlfriend talking and laughing with an attractive man at a party.
Jack is 
Show answer


n) Kate hasn’t had a day off work in about a month!
Kate is
Show answer


o) Tom has an important assignment due for university but his computer isn’t working. He can’t fix it.
Tom is 
Show answer

Vocabulary for talking about leisure activities

Vocabulary for talking about leisure activities

Vocabulary for talking about leisure activities

What do you do in your free time? Leisure activities are the things you can do when you have free time, like reading a book or listening to music. Before you try the exercises below, make sure you know these leisure activities:


In this lesson we will look at:

  • verb + gerund (e.g. go swimming)
  • verb + noun (e.g. go to the cinema)

Look at the lists below of a few common leisure activities and then do the exercises.

Verb + gerund

Verb + noun

 go swimming

go to the cinema

go bunjy jumping

play computer games

go kayaking

do yoga

go shopping

play table tennis

do gardening

surf the internet

do  knitting

play cards

do drawing

go for a walk

do juggling

watch television


Choose the correct verb to complete the sentence.

1. I have been to Queenstown many times but I have never    bunjy jumping.

Show answer  been


2. Almost everybody   the internet in their free time.

Show answer  surfs


3. Bill needed some fresh air so he   for a walk.

Show answer  went


4. My grandmother often   some knitting in her free time.

Show answer  does


5. Let’s rent a DVD tonight I’m tired oftelevision.

Show answer watching


6. Jenny has beenyoga for 2 years now, she is very fit.

Show answer doing


7. John was in the middle ofhis juggling act when he fell over.

Show answer doing


8. We haven’tthe gardening for a month, it’s very overgrown.

Show answer done


9. It’s a beautiful day today, let’skayaking.

Show answer go


10. Kevincomputer games all day long at the weekend.

Show answer plays