Learn English with Wonderful Interactive Books

I’ve recently found a new site that has some wonderful interactive books that help you learn verb tenses and other English topics.

The website, Let’s Have Fun with English, is hosted by Mrs. Haquet, a British teacher, so there is a bit of a British (UK) feel to the spelling and grammar but the American (US) version is also given. Here are the current Interactive books.

Basics Verb Tense + Topic Holidays
Numbers Present Be and Personality
Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives Present Simple Have /Have got
Adverbs of Frequency and Chores Present Simple (Be and Have) and Physical Descriptions St. Valentine’s Day
Comparatives Present Simple and Time and Daily Routines St. Patrick’s Day
 Prepositions of location and Places in Town Present Simple (like, love, hate) and Hobbies Halloween
Rooms in a House Present Simple vs Present Continuous Thanksgiving
Can (Talents) Present Simple /Present Continuous and Jobs Christmas
Must and Mustn’t Present Simple /Present Continuous and Clothes
Simple Past and Dates
Present Perfect  and  Countries
4 Verb tenses and Asking Questions

Be sure to try out the interactive vocabulary exercises too!

The link to this website can always be found on  under English Lesson Online, More English Online page.

Parts of Speech: Nouns

There are 8 parts of speech in English: 1) verbs, 2) nouns, 3) adjectives, 4) adverbs, 5) prepositions, 6) conjunctions, 7) pronouns, and 8) interjections. You can see all parts of speech if you click here. We will look at one each week. Last week we looked at verbs. Today we will study nouns.

What is a noun? 

A noun is the name of any person, place, or thing/idea. We use a CAPITAL LETTER with proper nouns (names, cities, countries, months, day, etc.). We don’t use a capital letter with common nouns (unless they come at the beginning of a sentence).

Here are some examples:

Proper nouns: Paris, Mexico, Thursday, Ohio, North Carolina, September, Brian, Jessica, etc.

Common nouns: telephone, tree, chair, fence, dress

PRACTICE. Look at this list. Which are proper nouns? Which are common?

  1. Flower
  2. Betsy
  3. Michelle
  4. Texas
  5. Shirt
  6. Car
  7. Taxi
  8. Light
  9. Saturday
  10. Horse

(ANSWERS: 2, 3, 4, and 9 are proper nouns. The rest are common nouns.)

Most nouns you can touch. But Ideas are also nouns. You can’t touch ideas. Love, hate, disagreement, peace, violence, understanding, etc. are all nouns. We don’t use capital letters with them.

Singular and Plural

Nouns can be singular (1) or plural (2 or more).

Usually, we put an “s” at the end of a noun. 1 shirt –> 2 shirts, 1 table –> 2 tables, etc. If the word already ends in “s”, we add “es.” 1 dress –> 2 dresses, 1 bus –> 2 buses. Also, if the word ends in “ch,” “sh, “x” or “z.” There are other exceptions and rules for spelling plurals here.

For -es practice, watch this video. The pronunciation is British English, but the spelling is the same.

PRACTICE. Write the plural for each word:

  1. house
  2. monkey
  3. church
  4. box
  5. call
  6. computer
  7. window
  8. watch
  9. glass
  10. match

(ANSWERS: houses, monkeys, churches, boxes, calls, computers, windows, watches, glasses, matches)

Countable and Uncountable Nouns

Finally, it is important to know that you can count some nouns, and you can’t count other nouns.

Things you can count:

animals, flowers, houses, people, days, keys, potatoes, apples, bananas

Countable nouns can have “a” or “the” in front of them: “I have a flower, a house, an apple, etc.”

Things you can’t count:

love, patience, flour, coffee, sugar, music, money, information, water

Uncountable nouns don’t use “a” or the.” We just say, “I have information, patience, etc.” without “a” or “the.”

Another option is to add a countable noun. You can say, “I have a lot of money, a piece of music, a glass of water, etc.

You can read more about countable and uncountable nouns by clicking here.

Stay tuned for next week: Adjectives!

Practice sites

If you want to practice a specific topic, click on the links below it. Look at the “Great Videos” page to find any videos on the same topic.

Also look at English For Everyone for a outstanding range of worksheets on specific topics.

Adjectives – Adjectives give descriptions. They describe a noun. You can read about adjectives here and here.   Remember that in English, the adjective comes BEFORE the noun. Look below for comparing adjectives (Comparatives and Superlatives).

Articles

  • OWL lesson on definite and indefinite articles (a, an, the)

Calendar

Classroom Language

Credit

 

Clothes

Community

  • Community Names 1  (bakery, bank, fire station, hospital, laundromat, house, library,mall, park,pharmacy, post office, school, supermarket)
  • Community Names 2  (police station, parking lot, court house, airport, gym, subway, zoo, bus station,  gas station, florist)
  • Community Names 3 (bookstore, clinic, hotel, church, city hall, museum, synagogue, cinema, mosque)

Comparatives and Superlatives

Tokyo is bigger than Raleigh. Tokyo is the biggest city in the world.

Read about comparatives and superlatives here and here. Then enjoy some practice!

Conjunctions  (Fanboys) 

Count / NonCount 

You can count some words in English (table, chair, bag, radio) but you can’t count other words (coffee, flour, ice, peace). Sometimes it is difficult to remember what you can count and what you can’t. You can practice them here:

Greeting 

Family

Food

House Repairs

Parts of Speech

Personal Info

Prepositions

       In, on, under, next to . . . where?

Shopping

Verbs

Weather

WH – Questions    

Great Videos

Videos are a great way to learn English. You can hear and see the action and words together.

Here are some good sites that have a variety of videos:

Here are some videos based on subject. They are in alphabetical order. (*Teachers, if you know any great videos, please contact us to put them on the list.)

Adjectives

Alphabet song

  • Funky ABC’s                                       Fun ABC
  • Country/Jazz ABC’s                          ABC Song
  • Simple/Slow ABC’s                            Alphabet Song

Articles

Body Parts                                                   Hokey-Pokey

Calendar

Contractions                                             To be

Directions

Emergencies                         

Food

Greetings                             

Health

House

Holidays videos can be found on “Holiday Page”

Introductions

Jobs

Money

Numbers                              15 vs 50 Pronunciation Tips

Parent Teacher Conferences 

Prepositions

Romance                              Only You

Shopping

Time                                    Tell the time in English,    Telling Time 

Verbs

Weather

WH questions

Videos for these subjects  can be found on “Practice Sites” Page.

      • Vowels Sounds

For Retelling / Conversation:

Side By Side Videos

This page contains links to YouTube videos that match the dialogs in chapters of Side By Side.

Here is a link to an overall playlist with all the videos: Side by Side Playlist.

Side By Side Book 1

 

Side By Side Book 2

Want to Play a Game?

Sometimes an English book can help you learn a tricky grammar point or help you learn new words . Now imagine you can do the same with a fun game. Which would you choose to learn with?   I think I know the answer….. let’s play!

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

Mark’s English School  (MES) Games    is a great site for grammar, vocabulary and phonics games.

You can play basketball and practice prepositions, comparatives and verb tenses at the same time.

Have a game of golf and pick the correct simple present  or present perfect tense.

Then use memory games or shoot a target to practice new vocabulary or phonic sounds.

Many of the games have a “review section” that you can choose before the game to help you master the subject.

 

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

Photo by WTCC Instructor M.Yanez

 

 

 

Try these games out and then go to the “Games, Games, Games” page to find more fun ways to learn English

I’m lost! Can you give me directions to…

Do you know how to ask and give directions? What do you do when you are lost? Do you have GPS? Do you ask someone for help? Here is some information about places in the community and how to ask for and give directions.

First, learn some new vocabulary. Practice with the exercises.

  • Community Names 1  (bakery, bank, fire station, hospital, laundromat, house, library, mall, park, pharmacy, post office, school, supermarket)
  • Community Names 2  (police station, parking lot, court house, airport, gym, subway, zoo, bus station, gas station, florist)
  • Community Names 3 (bookstore, clinic, hotel, church, city hall, museum, synagogue, cinema, mosque)

Now, watch these videos to learn how to give directions:

Don’t forget prepositions of location when giving directions. Some examples are:

  • on
  • next to
  • in front of
  • behind
  • between

Now, how do I get home from school?

Learn English Online

Here are good sites to start learning English online. These sites have lessons: some have topics, and some have grammar. Usually there are related activities to help you practice.

Please post a comment about your experiences with them and tell us about any we missed!

This site, Learn American English Online, has 7 different levels of English instruction, divided by color. Blue is easy. Violet is difficult. It teaches American English through videos, lessons, exercises, quizzes, and activities.

Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014

Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014

USA Learns is another very helpful website. You sign up for free and start an individual course. You practice reading, writing, spelling, grammar, and listening. There are three different levels to choose from.

Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014

Screenshot capture by JLN, 10/10/2014

5 Minute English  has short but helpful  grammar, reading, vocabulary, listening and pronunciation lesson

Daily Classroom from Fun, Easy English has a set of lessons that span a year and will guide you step by step.

El Civics –  Great site for civics lessons, ESL, life skills and holiday lessons. Most are at the beginner level but higher students can use some of the activities, too.

ESOL Courses – Has lessons on various topics at five levels of difficulty, plus interactive vocabulary games and activities. It is a British site, but it also has lessons on American culture and holidays.

ESL Partyland – Has some lessons on different topics but has many quizzes / games on grammar, idioms, slang and vocabulary at different levels of difficulty.

Let’s Have Fun with English ( Mrs Haquet’s site) – Amazing set of lessons in interactive books, games and PowerPoint presentations. Many of the interactive books combine a grammar point with another theme ( i.e Be and Have verbs with Physical Description). It does use some British English grammar and spelling but it usually points out the American equivalent too.   This table is a quick way to get to the interactive books

Basics Verb Tense + Topic Holidays
Numbers Present Be and Personality  
Pronouns and Possessive Adjectives Present Simple Have /Have got  
Adverbs of Frequency and Chores Present Simple (Be and Have) and Physical Descriptions St. Valentine’s Day
Comparatives Present Simple and Time and Daily Routines St. Patrick’s Day
 Prepositions of location and Places in Town Present Simple (like, love, hate) and Hobbies Halloween
Rooms in a House Present Simple vs Present Continuous Thanksgiving
Can (Talents) Present Simple /Present Continuous and Jobs Christmas
Must and Mustn’t Present Simple /Present Continuous and Clothes  
  Simple Past and Dates  
  Present Perfect  and  Countries  
  4 Verb tenses and Asking Questions  

 

LEO – Learn English Online – Has Beginner and Intermediate lessons.

OM Basic English Course  –  Provides twenty (20) lessons for beginner and low intermediate students. It has audio support for some parts. It is made for Spanish speakers and uses both Spanish and English in the lessons and directions.

REEP World – Has terrific family, health and work lessons. Also has citizenship resources and wide range of ESL links.

Stickyball Adult ESL Lessons – Has reading passages with comprehension questions and related grammar points.

Web-ESL – Adult and Family Education – Has many multi-skill activities /mini lessons under broad topics of Family, Shopping, Jobs, Community, Health, Community, Transportation & Recreation, Computers, and Grammar

In, On, Under…. Where are you?

Today the Level 1 /2  class was singing to this video to help us remember our prepositions of location. These prepositions  help us answer the questions that start with “Where…”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hx8i-Wq_jtc

It’s a great video  but one of the students noticed that an important preposition “over” is missing.

There are some other prepositions that mean the same as “under” and “over” – can you tell me what they are?  Write a comment with your answer.

Kinds of Adverbs

Welcome back to the blog! Over the past couple of months, we’ve been studying the parts of speech in English. So far, we’ve looked at different kinds of nouns, kinds of verbs, and kinds of adjectives. Today, I will try to explain adverbs. It’s a complicated category. In my imagination, this is what happened:

A long time ago, a group of men decided that the English language needed to be organized. They had a meeting, and they started creating categories for all the words. It took them a couple of hours, but they finally figured out all the different kinds of nouns. Then, after a few more hours of work, they made some tough decisions about verbs. Adjectives were pretty easy, but around the time they finished with adjectives, everyone was getting hungry. They were very tired of working, and their wives were cooking food in the kitchen. It smelled so good that they couldn’t concentrate on their work. Finally, one man said, “Let’s just put all the other words into one more category. Then we can eat.” Everyone agreed, so that is what they did.

The End

I’m sure that’s not a true story, but it would explain why so many different kinds of words are adverbs. Basically, if a word isn’t a noun, verb or adjective, it’s an adverb. There are whole categories of words that are in the category of adverbs. For example, prepositions, conjunctions, and transition words (however, therefore, etc.) are all technically adverbs. However, if you want an easier definition, adverbs are words that give more information about verbs, adjectives and other adverbs.

There are at least 6 different kinds of adverbs:

  • Adverbs of Manner – These adverbs answer the question, “How?” They explain how an action is done. “How does she sing?” “How does he run?” “How does she dance?” “How do they write?” The answers to these questions are words like sweetly, slowly, beautifully, and neatly.
  • Adverbs of Time – These adverbs answer the question, “When?” Adverbs of time include now, today, tomorrow, soon, and the prepositions at (as in “at 6:30”), on (as in “on January 27”) and in (as in “in June”).
  • Adverbs of Place – These adverbs answer the question, “Where?” They include here, there, everywhere, somewhere, nowhere, and all prepositions of place.
  • Adverbs of Degree – These adverbs answer the question, “How much?” They usually modify (describe) adjectives and other adverbs. That means that in a sentence, an adverb of degree is followed by an adjective or adverb. Common adverbs in this category include: very, completely, quite, much, totally and somewhat. Look at these examples:
    – He runs very slowly.
    – She is completely selfish.
    – They look somewhat alike.
    – It’s quite hot today.
    – He sings much better than I do.
  • Adverbs of Frequency – These adverbs answer the question, “How often?” They include words like always, often, sometimes, regularly, frequently, occasionally, normally, seldom, rarely, and never.
  • Conjunctive Adverbs – These adverbs connect the ideas in two sentences. They include however, similarly, furthermore, therefore, nevertheless, and consequently.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to practice. This video has 6 sentences for dictation. Each sentence includes an adverb of frequency. Get a pencil and some paper!

For more advanced practice, watch this video about conjunctive adverbs.