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Exam Time

Hi there First Certificate Exam candidates,

Thousands of students around the world are taking the First Certificate Exam in June (or maybe you have already done it!).

I’d just like to wish you good luck and hope everything goes well.

If you need any extra practise, keep checking the website for new stuff.

 

Good luck again!

 

Peteempty-exam-hall

 

 

THE WALL (4) MOBILE PHONES

MOBILE PHONES CHALLENGE!

mobile 1

Mobile phones, cell phones or smart phones. You can call them what you like, but this little device is taking over our lives.

The advantages are obvious: sending instant messages, keeping in touch 24/7 and arranging your social life on networks.

But it’s not all glamour. Try our latest ‘Wall’ challenge and consider some of the ‘downsides’ (disadvantages)!

This time it’s slightly different because you have to find 4 groups of 4.

SEND MESSAGESWASTE TIMEWASH YOUR CLOTHESMAKE CALLS
ADDICTIVEGET BRAIN CANCERKEEP IN TOUCHWIN THE LOTTERY
CLEAN YOUR HOUSEANTI-SOCIALTRIVIALINTRUSIVE
GET MESSAGESIMPROVE YOUR SPELLINGCONTROL PEOPLEGET TESTICLE CANCER

 

 

ANSWERS

USEFUL THINGS ABOUT MOBILES:

send messages, make calls, get messages, keep in touch

NEGATIVE EFFECTS/CONSEQUENCES:

waste time, get brain cancer, get testicle cancer, control people

NEGATIVE ADJECTIVES:

intrusive, addictive, anti-social, trivial

THINGS A MOBILE CAN’T DO:

wash your clothes, win the lottery, clean your house, improve your spelling

 

Minimalism – a new way of life

minimalistIs your house full of unwanted objects?

Is your wardrobe full of clothes and shoes you never wear?

If your answer is yes, maybe you should consider getting rid of some stuff.

Check out this TED video and see if you agree.

Then try the gap-fill exercise below. It’s part 2 of the Use of English paper in the First Certificate Exam.

Read the text below and think of the word which best fits each gap. Use only one word in each gap.

MINIMALIST

Excuses for buying things we don’t need.

“I don’t have enough money”.

The simplest solution to almost every money problem is “spend less.” In (1)… , it’s the first step in almost every financial program ever devised.

“There’s just not enough time in the day.”

It is surprising how (2)… extra time we can find in our lives (3)… removing our unnecessary possessions.

Just think (4)… all the time we waste caring for (5)… possessions: shopping, researching, organizing, picking up, cleaning, repairing, replacing – even earning the money to buy (6)… in the first place.

“There’s always so much cleaning to do.”

Want to have a cleaner home? Own less stuff. (7)… works every time.

“My house is too small.”

According to statistics, the (8)…  house size in America (9)… doubled since the 1950’s… yet, many of us (10)… think that we need something bigger. You probably don’t.

I need to buy something new to keep (11)… with the latest fashion.

Advertisements call us to purchase the latest and the greatest. Our natural tendencies cause us to compare our lives with those around (12)… .

ANSWERS

1 FACT

2 MUCH

3 BY

4 OF, ABOUT

5 OUR, THESE

6 THEM

7 IT

8 AVERAGE, TYPICAL

9 HAS

10 STILL

11 UP

12 US

The Wall (3)

THE WALL! (3)

wall 1

You have to find 3 groups of 3 words which could be related in some way and then decide why they are related.

CLUE: This one is easy!

UNLIKELYHINTLITTLE CHANCE OF
CLUEMOODYLAZY
GREEDYIMPROBABLETIP

ANSWER

1
unlikely
2
hint
1
little chance of
2
clue
3
moody
3
lazy
3
greedy
1
improbable
2
tip

1 Unlikely, little chance of and improbable are very similar.

E.g. It’s (highly) unlikely that my team will win the league this year.

There’s little chance of my team winning the league.

It’s improbable that they will win the league.

 

2 A hint, a clue and a tip are the same thing really.

Of course the word ‘tip’ has another meaning-it’s what you give to the waiter after dinner in a restaurant if you are pleased with the service!

 

3 Greedy, moody and lazy are all negative adjectives.

I recommend learning stylish adjectives to use in your Writing and Speaking exam.

It’s a good way of getting a better mark.

UK V US English (3)

Metre or Meter?can-685016_960_720us flag

In Part 3 of UK V US, we’ll take a look at some important spelling differences.

Did you know………?

that all words ending in ‘TRE’ in English English are spelt ‘TER’ in American English!

For example: UK Centre US Center

Of course, that’s not the only difference. Have a look at the table below and you’ll see what I mean.

UKUS
-TRE
centre, metre, theatre, kilometre, etc...
-TER
center, meter, theater, kilometer, etc...
-ISE
realise, apologise, categorise, modernise, recognise, etc...
-IZE
realize, apologize, categorize, modernize, recognize, etc...
-AMME
gramme, kilogramme, programme,
-AM
gram, kilogram, program
-OUR
behaviour, colour, honour, labour, glamour, neighbour, odour, favour harbour, etc...
-OR
behavior, color, honor, labor, glamor, neighbor, odor, favor, harbor, etc...
-LLED
travelled, signalled, dialled, pedalled, cancelled, levelled, etc...
-LED
traveled signaled, dialed, pedaled, canceled, leveled, etc...
-ENCE
offence (offences), defence,
-ENSE
offense (offenses), defense,
get-got-gotget-got-gotten
Practise (verb)
Practice (noun)
Practice (verb)
Practise (noun)

False Friends (Jam or Ham?)

new-badge-2-xxlConfusions for Spanish (or Latin-language) Speakers in English.

jamham sandwich

The fact that the English language is largely derived from Latin means that we can guess thousands of words which are similar in Spanish. So anybody can speak another language just by inventing words and hoping that people understand.

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UK V USA English (2)

Howdy and hello,

As promised, here is Part 2 of UK V USA English in which we will be focusing on more differences between these ‘cousin’ countries. Spanish readers will probably point out, quite rightly,  that there is a parallel situation between ‘Spanish’ Spanish and South American variations.

english breakfastcheeseburger

Let’s take a look at some more differences which involve shopping, clothes, accessories and entertainment vocabulary.

First of all, a little ‘conversion’ table to help you ‘translate’! This one deals with

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UK V USA English (1)

Part 1-QuizFamous London Red Phone Booth-w600american-flag-waving

Hello everybody, or should I say ‘Hi guys’?

A lot of my students complain that American English is different to U.K. English. It’s true, but now it’s time to stop complaining and know the differences.

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