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Showing posts from September, 2014

English Grammar, Say and Tell

Say and Tell are two words that are very similar.

 Say, - "said" is the past tense.  This is used in writing.
He said," Please tell me how to use Facebook!"
She said," How much time do you have?"
He said, "As long as it takes for me to learn."

Tell - "told" is the past tense  This is used to give information to others.
Please tell me the answer now!
He told me the answer, but I don't like it!

Read this webpage and then do the exercises.

Write the correct word in the blank:  You might need to change the tense of the word.  Sometimes either word will work in the sentence!
Word bank: say    tell
1. What do you want to ______________ me now?
2. David ______________," Please change the 20 Euro bill for me."
3. You ____________me yesterday how much the new lazer printed will cost.
4. I forgot to ____________________ you that the Jones' are coming for dinner tonight.

How to sign up with a DSL Satellite company - Business English

There are many places in the world where running an Internet Cable network is unfeasible.  In these places, you can either go on the Internet with your phone, or you can get a Satellite Network.

Go to this website, look around and then come back here and do this role play.

You are the customer, and your teacher is the ISP provider.  Ask your teacher these questions and then make your decision whether to sign up or not
Which countries are eligible to order service from this company?
How much is the monthly contract?
What is the minimum amount of time that I have to sign up for?
How fast is the service?
Does it matter how much I use the service?
How long does it take to install the system?
If I order the system today, when can I start to use it?
What if I don't like the system, can I get my money back?
How difficult is it to use the system?
What does "No Fair Use Policy" mean?
What if I don't want the TV option, can …

How to handle a meeting with your IT team in English IT English

For many IT professionals leading a meeting in English is very important.  The technical terms are well known for them,but it is the actual meeting that might be difficult. There are many variables that need to be taken care of so that everything runs smoothly.  

Read this post and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher, or you can even write out the answers to the questions.

Key Terms
communicate in common
cover all your topics
take minutes
recapping all the topics

How often do you need to call a meeting of your IT team?
What topics do you cover?  
How long does your typical meeting take? 
What challenges do you face when you call a meeting?
What percentage of people arrive on time? 
What happens when someone comes late? 
What language do you use during the meeting? 
Do you write an agenda?
Does someone take minutes? 
How do you do followup? 
Who is in charge of implem…

The Spice Turmeric could help the brain repair itself Medical English lesson

This is not the first time that I have heard that the spice Turmeric is beneficial to people. Maybe it is not a causal effect, but it is said that in India there is a lower incidence of cancer because people eat more Turmeric and Curry.  So just to be on the safe side, I try to add these spices to my food at least once a week. 

Read this article and get the latest scoop.  Either write the answers to the questions, or discuss them

Key Terms
aromatic turmerone
brain stem cells
endogenous neutral stem cells (NSCs) 
subventricular zone (SVZ) 
bio-active compounds
to intervene.

According to the article, what is the main effect of aromatic turmerone?
How did the researchers test the compound?
How can this help people with Alzheimer's?
What are NSCs?  What…

Panic buying causing food shortages in Venezuela English lesson

The supermarkets are empty in  Venezuela, so when people see something that they know they will need now and in the future, they buy a lot of it.  Something similar happens in Israel as well, because we know how difficult for stores to reorder, it often takes time to get stock from other countries if the items are imported.

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher.

Key Terms
fingerprint scanners
initiative to
food shortages
biometric identification
communist rationing.
smuggling of goods

Why did the government propose fingerprinting people when they buy goods at the supermarket?
What happened to the system that was in place at government owned shops?
What does the opposition party compare it to?  Why or why not?
What is Venezuela doing now to combat smuggling?
Is this working? 
How do customers feel about the fingerp…

English Expression: The Brain Drain - English lesson

Where a person decides to live an work is a very personal question.  Many people are born in one country and then move to another one as an adult.  I was born in Upstate New York, then moved with my family to Los Angeles California.  I was happy there for a time, but then because of many different reasons, I moved to Israel.  So, I am an example of the "Brain Drain." 

Read this post and either write the answers to show to your English teacher or discuss it with your English teacher.

Key Terms
Brain Drain
competitive edge 
higher standard of living
adopted country
specialized field

Are there many people who move away from your native country to live overseas?
According to the article, Brain Drain also is applied to people who are educated in one field and move to another.  Why do they do that? 
Where were you born? 
Where do you live now? 
Do you plan to move to another country?  I…

Scotland says no to Independence. English lesson

It is a refreshing change that Scotland has voted to stay with the UK in their latest referendum.  Last Thursday saw a very high turnout of over 84% of the voters going to the polls.  That Scotland wants to stay with England shows that the voters feel that they will have a better life as part of a bigger country rather than trying to go it alone.

Read this article from Scotland and either write the answers to the questions or discuss them with your English teacher.

Key Terms:
clear margin
polling stations
conceded defeat 
handful of results
comfortable majority
well-fought campaign
power being hoarded

What percentage of registered voters went to vote?
What was the winning percentage? 
Why is this important?
Why is the Deputy First Minister disappointed in the result?
Which districts voted Yes for independence? 
How does…

Noisy Neighbors a Problem? You are not alone! - English lesson

Noise can be a problem. Especially when the walls of your apartment building are very thin.  I remember the second apartment that we lived in here in Jerusalem.  The next door neighbor was a professional opera singer.  He was very good in fact, but I was not in the mood to hear tenor opera singing at 6:00am in the morning!  So it turns out that I'm not the only one! 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher. 

Key Terms:


According to the text which age group is least likely to get help for the problem of noisy neighbors? Why don't they get help?
Which government agency can they turn to? 
How was the survey carried out?
Is this a good way to get information, or is there another way that is more effective?
What annoyances topped the list? 
What is the best way to deal …

Walking or cycling to work improves well being English lesson

More and more people are opting to leave the car at home and go to work by bicycle or the bus.   I took a third option and I go by electric bicycle.  But what does the research say about getting to work this way?

Read this article and be prepared to talk about it with your English teacher.

Key Terms:
under less strain
positive psychological effects
active commute
neighborliness  neighbourliness  Two ways to spell this word

According to the article traditionally what is the least favorite way to get the work?
How long did the study follow these people?
How many people did the researchers study?
Where did this study take place?
Are the results transferable to other places?
Which mode of transport was the most used? The least used? 
Did this change over time? 
What will be the trend in the future? 
What are the health benefits of bicycling to work? 
What are the psychological benefits?
What a…

The Cambridge Proficiency Use of English Test explained - - English Exams

Do you need to take an English exam for work or immigration?  There are so many different types of English tests that are available to take.  This post explains the Cambridge Proficiency Use of English test, which has been in use for over 100 years, so it widely used.  In 2013, it was revised,  

Read this post and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms:
in light of 
short synopsis

Which part of the test do you think will be easy for you? 
Which part of the test will be the most difficult? 
What can you do in order to best study for the test? 
When you were in school, did you like to write? In your native language? In English? 
Did you like to read in English?  
How can you improve your reading comprehension in English? 
English speakers like to vary their vocabulary, and use different words that often have a simi…

Tele-commuting is it as good for the worker as for the employer? Business English Lesson

Like it or not, Tele-commuting is here to stay.  Employers need to reduce costs, and workers need more flexibility.  It seems like a match made in Heaven! But is it? 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key terms:
contract out work
net profit
lower overhead
an upside
pension plan 
has been touted
barring that

According to the article, what are the advantages and disadvantages of tele-commuting. 
Which is better for the employer? 
Which is better for the employee? 
Which do you like better, working as a telecommuter or in an office? 
In which type of environment do you work best?
Do you like to have personal face to face contact with your fellow workers? Why or why not? 
Can you set your own hours if you work from home? 
Could you turn one of your hobbies into a job? 
Have you ever worked from home? If yes, what did you lik…

Lessons for Success - They don't teach in School - English lesson

Ever wonder why the school day is almost the same length as a typical work day?  Why do children go to school, learn to sit still, follow directions?  This was the model for the typical worker in the late 19th century.  Is this the best way to prepare this generations' children for success? 

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms
talent shortage
more options
 true calling
mindset and skills
by the book
keeps people relevant
tread water 
advisory board
 to synthesize
personal filters
driverless car
hanging out
final judge and jury

According to the text, what is the traditional way of learning? 
What is the new way? 
Tell me about a time that you learned by the book. 
Did you succeed? Were you happy with the results? 
Tell me a time when you succeeded at a task, thinking outside the box?
What task wa…

Save France from Fast Food? A logo does it!Business English lesson

Fast food and French food don't go together. That is what this new logo is supposed to combat. If the food was pre-made and brought into the restaurant already prepared, or frozen, the logo can't apply and the restaurant has to take it off the menu.

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms:  \
culinary traditions
consumer affairs
concrete tools
integral part
rigorous and precise
to resort to

What does Carole Delga say about the new logo on the menu? 
How can this help the consumer?
What are the advantages of this logo?
What are the disadvantages?
Why would a fancy restaurant use frozen food?
 What are the advantages of using frozen prepared food to serve in a restaurant?
How much time does it take to cook a meal from start to finish in a restaurant?
What are the loopholes in the law?
Do you agree with the statemen…

Connectors to use in English Contrast - English Grammar

Connectors add to your English speaking by signaling that you are going to add information, make a comparison, or negate a certain supposition.

Contrasting connectors can be used to caution the reader, show a different side to this issue.

Key Terms 
even though
in spite of
on one hand . . . on the other hand
in contrast to
contrary to


She wanted to play the clarinet in spite of the fact that she had a broken thumb.
On one hand, the newspaper said it was unbiased, on the other hand the journalists were all against the government.
The school hasn't opened up a drama class, yet in the neighborhood live a number of TV actors.
He is a very successful man, even though he just went bankrupt.
The author's second book was not successful in contrast to his first novel.
One sister was working in IT, unlike the other who went into fashion design.
I like to eat chocolate, despite the fact that I am al…

Apple reveals its new Apple Watch! What is it and what does it do? IT English lesson

Apple Company has revealed its new product, called Apple Watch, even though the company had already trademarked the name iWatch.

Read this text and be ready to discuss it with your English Teacher

Or you can choose this link:

Key terms
average Joe
killer app
"growing" the smartwatch market
woo people over
 lower price bracket 
 so-called phablets
faster compute performance
NFC (near field communication) 
contactless payments
digital crown

proclaimed the day
triptych of
big bets backed
walk-off home run
christenedgroundbreaking new product
corporate Leviathan.private impulsesartisanal
intimate nature
fused virtually to
collared forto reduce friction
culmination of
hunkered downhorologiststhe watch dial - it’s called “the crown
click wheelsiting four sensors
sub rosa

Speaking English - 5 rules to go by - English lessons

There is a lot of controversy about learning a new language.  Most Elementary schools teach a lot of grammar at the beginning. This is because conceptually, learning grammar is the basics of a language, and the theory goes that if you know grammar you can speak.  This works for some languages, that have a straightforward system of verbs, like Hebrew, where there are only a few exceptions. But as English has many exceptions in all sorts of ways, learning grammar can be less useful.  

Read this article and be ready to discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms:
small fraction
communicate effectively
causative verb
 listening portion

What is your native language?
Do you know the grammar of your native language? 
Did you study grammar of your native language at school?
How well do you write in your native language?
When did you start learning English? 
What was the focus of…

Connectors in English, Addition and Example words English Grammar

When you are taking a writing test, you have to vary your connectors.  If you use the same one over and over, you will get a lower score.  You can use moreover only once, then the next time you want to add more information to a point, use furthermore, and then in addition to.  These all have the same basic meaning to add to an existing point.


The Internet is getting so incredibly big, moreover, you can access it with a tablet and your smartphone.  In addition to this, Apple is now developing a new device to access the Internet from where ever you are.

You can use the negative not only, but also


In Jerusalem, you can find not only  many modern museums, but also many ancient sites to visit.

If you want to illustrate an idea, you use for example, for instance, such as


There are several places to go to the Carnival, for example, I went last time to Trinidad.
There are many good places to go to the Carnival such as Rio.

Write your own sentences using these connec…

What does Stay Ahead of the Curve mean? Business English

Staying ahead of the curve means more than just driving.  It means to be on top of your business and anticipating the market. How can this be done?  Pay attention to other companies in your niche, find customers before they do. 

Read this article (for advanced English speakers) and discuss it with your English teacher

Key Terms
remaining adept
market “swing
 route to growth
trundling along
first casualties 
 hostage to fortune
monitors successes
monitors successes
incidental discomfort
growing pains
testing experience