The New York Skyline Quiz

The New York Skyline Quiz

The New York Skyline Quiz

We have all seen the New York skyline in movies or even in real life. But do you know anything about the buildings, bridges and iconic constructions in that skyline?

New York City is famous for many things, but primarily it is known as the city of skyscrapers.  It all started with the religious cathedrals – its oldest “skyscraper” was the Trinity Church, which was 280ft tall at the time of its completion, in 1846.  Nowadays there are at least 132 buildings which are taller than 600 feet (183 m).

What is a skyscraper ? A skyscraper is a tall, continuously habitable building having multiple floors (UK) or storeys (USA). When the term was originally used in the 1880s it described a building of 10 to 20 floors but now it is used to describe a building of at least 40 to 50 floors. Mostly designed for office, commercial and residential uses, a skyscraper can also be called a high-rise, but the term “skyscraper” is often used for buildings higher than 100 m (328 ft). For buildings above a height of 300 m (984 ft), the term “supertall” can be used, while skyscrapers reaching beyond 600 m (1,969 ft) are classified as “megatall”.

How many iconic constructions (skyscraper, bridges and statues) can you name ? This silhouette of the skyline can give you a clue….

Test you knowledge with this quiz, learn some new vocabulary and pick up some fun facts at the same time.

The New York Skyline Quiz

The New York skyline is world famous, but how well do you really know it ?

After doing the quiz check out the podcast A Few Days in New York 


How to really Learn vocabulary part 1

How to really Learn vocabulary part 1

In this series we are going to be looking at ways that we can enhance and improve our learning and perhaps crushing some of the myths about learning techniques that we learnt in school.

Every day we meet people with different techniques for learning vocabulary, but most of them revolve around some pretty shaky ideas, those being ‘if you write stuff down, you’ve learnt it.’

If only things were that simple …

This rarely works, due mainly to the fact that some important steps have been missed out – those being, actively learning the vocabulary and then actively using it.

Let’s put this in prallel with sport, to illustrate the idea.

Imagine that you are a huge cycling fan and you love the Tour de France and you would like to experience the grueling (look that one up if you like) hardships of a day riding in the mountains of the Tour de France.

So, you get all the magazines about the Tour and mountain cycling, you have the maps and you have read all the technical stuff on hydration and nutrition during a massive climb in the Pyrenees mountains in the south of France.

You have even chosen your mountain, Le Col du Tourmalet – wow! that’s a big one, and have bought a fabulously expensive ‘S-Works’ bicycle for the climb. 

You’ve seen the videos and read all the information, but that’s as far as you go – THAT is how a lot of people learn – they don’t go the final mile of training before getting on the bike after weeks of muscle and stamina building. They don’t prepare for the day that they will be climbing Tourmalet on their bike.

OK, they know all about Tourmalet, Le Tour de France and mountaing cycling – but they have no guarantee of ever being able to achieve the ascent of a mountain on their bicycle.

Listen to the podcast, N°1 in a series, to get some ideas to improve your learning.


Presentation skills:  warm up your voice with diction exercises

Presentation skills: warm up your voice with diction exercises

In a previous podcast Effective Presentation Skills we talked about warming up before doing a presentation or speaking in public.

But what does “warming up” actually involve ?

In this podcast Chris explains the importance of breathing and focus in order to reduce stress, and Sue gives some diction exercises which help with articulation and problem sounds for different nationalities.

These exercise are not intended to make you worry about a perfect English (British) accent but they are aimed at helping you move your mouth in certain ways to help you get the best pronunciation you can. 

Remember that as a non-native English speaker having an accent is quite normal but when speaking in a professional situation always try to speak clearly with a good beginning and a crisp ending to words. In more informal settings you don’t need to be so particular.

Here are the exercises:

1.Blue blood, black blood.    Black bug, blue bug.

2. Down the deep damp dark dank den,

3. Four furious friends fought for the phone,

4. Hotdog, Hamburger

In Hertford, Hereford and Hampshire hurricanes hardly ever happen, 

5. Kiss her quick, kiss her quicker, kiss her quickest.

6. You know New York, You need New York, You know you need unique New York.

7. Pearls, please, pretty Penelope,   Pretty Penelope, pearls please

8. Sister Susie sat on the sea shore sewing shirts for sailors.

9. Where were you yesterday?

10. Red leather, yellow leather.   Red lorry, yellow lorry.

Take a listen:

To go further into the topic of presentations, take a listen to Effective Presentation Skills Episode 2.



Explaining a process

Explaining a process


When giving a series of instructions to make or produce something there are some common, useful and simple language features, used for clarity and simplicity.

In this podcast we use the example of explaining a process for how to make something following a set of clear steps to demonstrate this.

Common features when describing a process or to how to do something, is the use of the imperative and linking words.

The imperative form is made by using the bare infinitive of the verb (the infinitive without ‘to’).

Here are some examples from the podcast.

The imperatives are in bold type.

Take a capsule ….”

Check that the tank is full… “

Press the button…”

Open the front of the machine … “

Hold the button … “

Explaining a process

When giving a series of instructions it’s more natural in speech and writing to join the different instructions together with linking words.

There are many different linking words that can be used to describe a series of instructions that make up parts of a process.

Some very simple, but commonly used ones are and, then, after that, before that, in the meantime, now etc.

Here are some examples from the podcast.

go to the X machine …

in the meantime what you can do …

now you need to take a capsule …


Can you figure out what they are trying to make?

If you would like to see the Animated Podcast version click here.

The or no The

The or no The

For many learners using, or not using, “the” is a bit hit and miss !

There are some guidelines but to be honest the rules are not that clear ……. so you need some practice.

As a general rule we use “the” when we talk about a specific noun and no “the” when we are talking in general. The examples in the quiz will highlight this.

Also remember that countries do not generally have “the” in front of them except when the country is a plural noun. So watch out for “The United States” but America. Again you will see examples in the quiz.

We start the quiz with some easy questions and get more and more complex. 

  Do the quiz once to get the idea and then do it again and time yourself to go quicker and quicker.

Go for it !

THE or no THE ?


New TOEIC Test parts – Regional TOEIC

New TOEIC Test parts – Regional TOEIC

New TOEIC Test parts – Regional TOEIC

New TOEIC Test parts – Regional TOEIC – The TOEIC Test (Test of English for International Communication has been around for a few years now, and has recently been updated.

The next stage of development of TOEIC, has included two new sections on regional listening and grammar – notably a section on West Country English from the county of Somerset in England.

The powers that be, in the organisation of the TOEIC exam have decided that Somerset is one of the regional accents that learners of English will need to equipe them for life and especially for professional life.

We are including, never-been-seen-before samples of two of the sections, which will be in place in the new TOEIC test, starting on 1 April 2017.

Of course this is just a bit of fun – and why not have a bit of fun whilst learning or improving your English …

English Podcasts

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This