5 minute Grammar: Present Perfect Simple

5 minute Grammar: Present Perfect Simple

Welcome to 5 minute grammar

Most learners find the concept of the Present Perfect difficult to grasp. It is a particularly of the English language which takes a bit of time to get used to.

It is formed by the the auxiliary “have” plus the past participle of the verb you want to use.

Listen as we explain the main principles of how to use this tense and the examples we cite.

Before listening, take the time to think about these examples which you’ll hear in the podcast:

I have lived in Toulouse for 30 years (I still live here). Write your own example……………..

I have worked for the company for 30 years (I still work for the same company ). Write your own example…………

For a question: Have you ever been to China? (We are asking about your life experiences up to the present time). Write your own example…..

A possible answer: I have never been to China (I’m talking about my experiences up to the present time).  Write your own example …………

The weather has been warm recently (this is a recent action). Write your own example of a recent action……..

Language is What Makes Humans Unique Now take a moment to think about this example before listening:

I have learned a lot (present perfect simple) since I started (past simple) studying Spanish. Why is this ?

 

 

Go one step further and check your understanding with this quick quiz

Present Perfect Simple Quiz

 

 

How to make your English colorful – use expressions and idioms!

How to make your English colorful – use expressions and idioms!

How colorful is your language ? Do you want to sound like a native speaker ? Well in that case, you better start using expressions and idioms to make your English come alive !

Idioms are a fun part of language learning and apart from giving colour and interest to your conversation they also add humour and flair to your language skills. 

So tune in to this podcast and listen as we test each other with 15 expressions, you’ll hear that some we know well and some we don’t know at all. 

We all have specific expressions to where we live, what are your favorite idioms in your language? Let us know we’d love to hear them.

You can check your comprehension of the podcast with this great quiz.

Expressions Comprehension Quiz

 

You can also build your stock of idioms with this quiz about sporting idioms.

 Go the extra mile and listen to this podcast about expressions which William Shakespeare coined back in the 17th century and we still use today.

a.i, does it enhance or replace your learning  experience ?

a.i, does it enhance or replace your learning experience ?

As an English learner do you think it’s a great tool or just cheating and laziness ? 

This is the hot question at the moment.

Do you use Google translate to help you with your written English ? Do you enhance your text by putting it through an a.i software?

Are you tempted to rely on a:i  to help you produce a written text quickly?

Listen as we discuss the pros and cons of a.i and see how we think it’ll affect the learning and teaching experience.

Take a look at these options which an a.i software produced from one of our blogs about Food Hell.

This is what we wrote : What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten ? Snails ? Eels ? Sheep’s brains ? Listen as we discus the worst things we’ve eaten. Do you agree with our choice? Do you think our choices are cultural or universal tastes?  Why do you detest these foods? Is it the texture, the smell, the taste or just the idea? To get in the mood here are the foods we discuss. Build your vocabulary by associating tastes, and adjectives to each choice*https://english-podcasts.com/food-hell/

This is what the a.i wrote in different styles. What do you think?

Friendly: Do you agree with our choices? Do you think our choices are cultural or universal tastes? What’s the worst food you’ve ever eaten ? Snails ? Eels ? Sheep’s brains ? We discuss all this and more in this episode of the podcast.

Witty: What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten? Snails? Eels? Sheep’s brains?! Yeah, we thought so. In this episode of The Listening Project we ask the question: what’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten? Listen as we discuss how old you had to be to eat some weird things, why some people can literally eat anything and where the best place is for napa cabbage

Empathetic: The worst things I’ve eaten? Snails, eels, sheep’s brains and worse. Do you agree with our choices? Do you think they are cultural or universal tastes? To get in the mood here are the foods we discuss. Build your vocabulary by associating tastes, and adjectives to each choice.

Luxury: What would constitute the worst thing you’ve ever eaten? Snails ? Eels ? Sheep’s brains ? Listen as we discuss the worst things we’ve eaten eaten. Do you agree with our choice? Do you think our choices are cultural or universal tastes? Why do you detest these foods? Is it the texture, the smell, the taste or just the idea?

Adventurous: This is a lively and fun podcast that discusses the worst things we’ve eaten. We are passionate about food, and so are you. We believe each culture has foods that they consider disgusting which we put in a list. In this podcast episode we discuss the reasons why these foods are considered some of the most unsavory in our culture. If you have suggestions for future topics please email me at suggestions@podcasts.com

Persuasive: We all have foods that we detest. When someone tells you to try something, how do you respond? You like it or not? Why do people put themselves through this ritualistic thing of eating all these things they don’t like? This is your chance to find out. Listen as we discuss some of the things most people won’t eat, but that we did.

  Listen out for these words in the podcast

Did your mum write your cover letter?

Lazy

To put your finger on it

Cheating

Enhance

There/ they’re/ their

A mindset change

A can of worms

A glaring mistake

History in the streets of Toulouse Episode 2

History in the streets of Toulouse Episode 2

This is the second in our series retracing the history of Toulouse through the names of streets.

Here we wander down some 11th and 12th century streets that tell a story of the past of Toulouse – how people earned a living and how some became very rich. We discover some fairly unknown facts about the trades of Toulouse in the past – did you know that dice were made in Toulouse?

We uncover the site of a religious site dating to the 5th century BC and the place where a famous singer lived and wrote songs about Toulouse in the 20th century. Come with us as we discover the textile trades that were thriving in Toulouse and that no longer exist as history comes alive before our very eyes.

Enjoy the city’s lively atmosphere. It’s a very hip, young area with a surprising number of bars, cafes, boutiques and galleries. The Carmes district is full of cafés, bars restaurants and speciality shops. The neighborhood is characterized by many narrow, beautiful streets and colorful houses.

One of the liveliest cities in France, Toulouse has become a popular destination for many city lovers in recent years. A weekend in Toulouse is a must if you have a passion for architecture, colorful markets, French cuisine and chic boutiques!

Discover the hidden history of Toulouse in the streets.

Enjoying Toulouse means taking time to live. Stroll the bustling streets for shopping, stroll through the markets that come in all flavors and colours, or just linger in traditional French cafes…the vibe here reflects the Southern personality: authentic, friendly and welcoming. Toulouse is also very good at welcoming tourists and offering them the opportunity to sit around a table and enjoy local specialties (foie gras, duck, sausages, Cassoulet, wine and cheese…).

Explore the city’s architecture and ancient landmarks.

It is a sprawling modern city with an ancient heart, the center of which is the Place du Capitole. It’s an eclectic mix of young and old and has more of a feeling of a group of local villages than one of the biggest cities in France – no wonder Toulouse is consistently voted as one of the best places to live in France and we just love it.

   Develop your listening skills by watching the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MHCL4yRiM0&t=1s

   After reading the text, try this quiz to test your comprehension of the words highlighted in bold print, and learn words which often used in tourist guide books.

Streets of Toulouse (2) Build vocabulary

After reading the text, try this quiz to test your comprehension and learn new vocabulary which is often used in tourist guide books.


How to talk “footy” to football fans.

How to talk “footy” to football fans.

 Football will be in the news for a month during the World Cup 2022.

Are you able to talk “footy”? Do you know the football jargon that we hear around us in the bars? Take the opportunity this month to go to bars and start up a conversation with other people about the football matches, it’s a great way to improve your English!

In this podcast Sue puts Chris on the spot when she asks him to explain frequent football words and expressions. You’ll hear that they’re not big fans of football but they’ll make the effort for language learning 🙂 

Give yourself a pat on the back when you understand what these words mean;

To kick off  / The coin toss  / 

A goalie / to save a goal / to mark a player

To score a hattrick

A foul / a tackle / to get booked / to be sent off/ to get a red card

A peno / a penalty shootout

To park the bus

Extra time vs Injury time

…. and the language of TV football commentators

It’s a game of 2 halves

To put the game to bed

What a beauty !

They’re on the back foot

He’s bottled it

It’s an open goal / It’s an own goal

That’s a blatant handball !

“Football’s coming home” 🙂

 

Then test your memory with this Flash Quiz.

For those of you who want more, try this World Cup Football Quiz full of great vocabulary and amazing facts to entertain even the most football skeptic.

https://english-podcasts.com/the-curious-off-side-football-world-cup-quiz/

 

Listen to the podcast here.

 

Could you pass the French Citizenship Test ?

Could you pass the French Citizenship Test ?

More than 100,000 people are granted French nationality every year.  This represents around 2.5% of foreigners living in the country and is well above the number in Germany (1,5 %) and Italy (2 %), but way under the UK (4,2 %) and Spain (5,2 %).

Since the Brexit referendum in 2016 many Brits living in France have applied for French nationality.

Before 2015, 386 British residents in France applied for French nationality. The year after the number rose to 1,363 and in 2018 it was 3173.

Why would they do this ? What are the benefits compared to permanent resident status ?

Well, having voting rights is a very important difference, as is the freedom to travel freely in the European Union. Other people have also mentioned being able to avoid long queues at airports and a greater sense of stability.

But it’s a long road to achieving nationality:

Firstly, getting a slot for the interview is difficult as the interviews are limited. Then you have to wait at least a year for the actual interview. In the meantime you have to gather together many financial and personal  documents getting copies and translations.

During the actual interview the documents will be scruperously checked, you’ll be asked questions about your motivation and some questions about France…. some easy, some not so easy.  

So how much do you know about France ? Enough to pass the citizenship test ? Try this quiz to find out !

Could you pass the test to gain French nationality?

These 40 questions cover just some of the possible questions in the Gaining French Nationality booklet. 

This quiz starts with the most frequently asked questions which most people could answer, and then it gets progressively more difficult with questions which people who have read the citizenship booklet should be able to answer,  and  then it finishes up with some really tricky questions that will really stump you ..... Bonne chance !!

For extra great questions, try these other fun quizzes too.

https://english-podcasts.com/where-should-you-live-in-france/

https://english-podcasts.com/25-off-the-wall-facts-about-france/

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