Thanksgiving Day

[Infographic provided by]

Vocabulary and Phrases

“Turkey with All the Trimmings”
Dinner is centered around the turkey, and “the trimmings” refers to the many dishes served with it. Favorite trimmings include cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes with gravy, yams, various vegetables, and pumpkin pie for dessert.

“Turkey Day”

As turkey is the main dish, “Turkey Day” is an alternate name.

The first Americans to celebrate Thanksgiving were pilgrims from Europe who feasted with the Wampanoag tribe. While modern feasts can last three hours, this first feast lasted three days. The pilgrims nibbled dishes such as eel, squash, and venison; pumpkin pie was not invented until 50 years later.

“Gobble Gobble”

The word “gobble” has a double meaning. When used alone, it means to devour food quickly. When paired–”gobble gobble”–it imitates turkey calls. Additionally, turkeys are often called “gobblers.” In summary, people who love turkey can gobble their gobbler before it has a chance to gobble gobble.

“Dinner Roll”
A tiny loaf of bread no bigger than a biscuit. They are served hot and are best eaten with a plop of melting butter.

Also called “stuffing,” this dish starts with shredded bread and is traditionally used to “stuff” the turkey, cooking simultaneously with the bird. The juices permeate the dressing, giving it a delicious, savory flavor, but chefs are warned to cook stuffed birds very thoroughly; an under-cooked, stuffed turkey can cause illness.

“Turkey Drumstick”
The popular term for a turkey leg, so named for the shape. In addition to the holidays, smoked turkey drumsticks are sold year-round in the American south as a sort of “finger-food” because they are portable and tidy. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey for America’s national symbol rather than the bald eagle; that was a man who appreciated a good drumstick.

“I’m Stuffed”
This is said as a feaster pushes away from the table. Belts are often loosened at this point, though the practice is frowned on in polite company. Celebrators now drag themselves toward a couch to watch football games.

“Food Coma,” “Turkey Coma”
Once feasters have hauled themselves onto couches, a “food” or “turkey coma” begins, often lasting many hours. Most watch television and sip drinks, and some may outright nap. A chemical in turkey called tryptophan might add to the coma; while levels are slightly higher than in other meats, the obvious reason is the meal, itself. After all, babies with full tummies fall asleep quickly.

Black Friday
The day after Thanksgiving–always a Friday–is infamous as the biggest shopping day of the year and is considered the first “official” shopping day of the Christmas season.

Thanksgiving Activities

Help Others: many donate time to soup kitchens or shelters during the holiday.

Spend Time with Family: the heart of the holiday season.

Watch Football: the Detroit Lions have traditionally played on Thanksgiving since 1934.

Watch the Parade: New York City held the first Macy’s Parade in 1924, and it is now an institution.

Bake a Pumpkin Pie: the largest ever made weighed 2,020 pounds.

Eat: the good news is that turkey is relatively low in calories. Pumpkin pie is not.…,8599,1942935,00.html

First Test Practice

These are some useful links to practise for your Cambridge First.




12742152_1076688452352851_3304974623303574463_n (1)

Writing Tips

Useful Words and Phrases for your writings



Informal Letter or Email

Formal Letter or Email




Reading and Use of English

PART 1     PART 2     PART 3        PART 4       PART 5        PART 6           PART 7


PART 1      PART 2     PART 3        PART 4


Reading and Use of English

PART 1      PART 2     PART 3     PART 4      PART 5      PART 6      PART 7


PART 1     PART 2      PART 3      PART 4


Reading and Use of English

PART 1      PART 2      PART 3       PART 4     PART 5      PART 7


PART 1      PART 2      PART 3       PART 4


Reading and Use of English

PART 1        PART 2       PART 3       PART 4       PART 5       PART 6         PART 7


PART 1       PART 2        PART 3        PART 4


Reading and Use of  English

PART 1     PART 2      PART 3      PART 4      PART 5     PART 6



PART 1       PART 2      PART 3     PART 4


Conditional Sentences.





conditional clauses_small-01

whether if - infographic_small-01-2

What is a Conditional?

A grammar device that shows possible results from certain situations is called a “conditional.” The presence of the word “if” will usually call attention to them, and some have actually nicknamed them “if” sentences. There are several types, but three “basic conditionals” are used most frequently.


This situation is in the future and has a real possibility of happening.

“If Bob comes over, we will watch the game.”

There is a good likelihood that Bob will come over.


The second also refers to the future but is quite unlikely.

“If I went to the moon, I would know if it is made of cheese.”

It is highly improbable that the speaker will visit the moon.


Unlike the first two, this refers to the past and cannot happen.

“If Jill had gone to the zoo, she would have taken pictures.”

This is in the past and cannot be fulfilled; Jill did not go to the zoo and so her photos are an impossibility.
Whether or If

These are often interchanged but actually have different uses. When showing a condition, use “if,” but when showing a choice or alternatives, use “whether.”
“If” implies that the result depends on one specific condition.

“We will go for a walk if it doesn’t rain.”

“If you finish you dinner, you can have some pudding.”
“Whether” shows choices or alternatives and generally requires an “or.” “Or not” is often used for yes/no choices; some consider “or not” redundant and some see it as more formal. “Whether” by itself can hint at both positive and negative possibilities.

“Tell Rachel whether you want chicken or beef for dinner.”

“Whether or not you are going to the party, please call.”

“Let us know whether the school is open.”

When the speaker only wants you to call if you’ll be there:

“Please call if you are going to Perkie’s Pizza on Friday.”

When the speaker wants you to call either way:

“Please call whether or not you are going to Perkie’s Pizza on Friday.”

“Please call whether you are going to Perkie’s Pizza on Friday.”
To Sum it Up

Is there a result that relies on certain conditions? Use “if.”

Is there some sort of choice? Use “whether.”

Should “or not” be used with “whether?” Some do, some say “sometimes” and some say “don’t bother.” What is your opinion?


Explanation of conditional sentences in Spanish

Exercise 1 on 2nd Conditionals.

Exercise 2 on 2nd Conditionals.

Exercise 3 on 2nd conditionals.

Watch the video about 2nd and 3rd Conditionals and do the quiz below.

Do this exercise to identify the type of conditional sentence.

Exercise 1 on Conditionals.   Exercise 2    Exercise 3

Exercise on 3rd Conditionals.

Extra exercises and practice on Conditional Sentences.

Try this quiz

Test yourself

Listen to these songs on this wonderful post.

Inversion cases in conditional sentences:

Grammar on Inversion cases with conditional sentences.

Read this explanation and do the exercise below.  Exercise 2  Exercise 3


Guy Fawkes Day

Remember remember
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot!
We see no reason why
Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!


Click here to watch a video and read about the history of The Gunpowder Plot


Click on the picture to play a wonderful game on this topic.

Animated video

Reading comprehension and exercises

Describing People. Adjectives

10422525_839360666144341_3441351478865995795_n 1383853_599517703419880_1363030540_n10986836_942359105788958_2898876055290879491_n






Past Perfect Simple and Continuous

What Is Past Perfect Continuous?

Past perfect continuous tense, also called past perfect progressive, shows something that both started and ended in the past using the helper “had” with “been” and the present participle form (-ing) of any continuous verb. Two actions that occurred in the past are frequently illustrated against each other to show cause and effect or timing.

How To Use It

The description may sound as horrible and confusing as the name, but it is actually not hard to use. Keep in mind that only continuous verbs work. The infographic and some past perfect continuous examples in their simplest form should restore confidence in English grammar for those who may feel lost.

“The bird had been sitting on a branch.” The sentence hints that the bird is no longer there.

“The birds had been sitting on a branch.” It works the same way for plural nouns.

“The bird had been sitting on a branch until a squirrel came.” As mentioned, past perfect continuous often compares two past actions against each other. We know that the squirrel caused the bird to fly away.

“I had been sleeping when the alarm went off.”
“The sun had been shining before the sky became cloudy.”
“Frank had been walking when he smelled cheeseburgers.”

Incorrect Use

Certain verbs are considered non-continuous and are rarely used in past perfect continuous, such as possessive and abstract verbs, as well as verbs that deal with emotion. A great way to remember this is that many of these verbs refer to something which cannot be physically seen.

“My dog had been wanting a bone when I came home.” This is incorrect.
“My dog wanted a bone when I came home.” This is correct.

“The house had been belonging to me until I sold it.” This is incorrect.
“The house belonged to me until I sold it.” This is correct.

“Jim had been liking our walk until he tripped.” This is incorrect.
“Jim liked our walk until he tripped.” This is correct.

Depending on how they are being used, some mixed verbs can serve as both continuous and non-continuous verbs.


Past tense learning English grammar