Entries by Jessica


Don’t recommend it, suggest it instead

I recently had a query from one of my students which went a bit like this… “I have understood all the corrections you’ve made, but I have a doubt with the verb “recommend”. I thought it could be used as I did in the writing “I recommend you to read this book” now I know that I […]

Hold the front page!

I think that this little exercise is one of the most fun activities that you can do that will vastly improve your English when you are over the basic level. This is to imagine that you are a journalist for the day.   Watch an old Agatha Christie crime story, such as Hercule Poirot, or […]



I have a lot of students who are studying for the IELTS exams, both Academic and General. A lot of them come to me after they have already taken it once and only scored 5.5 when they really want 6.5 or 7 for visa requirements to go to other countries.They don’t understand why they only […]


The 3 best ways to learn new vocabulary

Flashcards Flashcards can be very effective as long as you are aware of their limitations and don’t overdo it so that it becomes a chore. Of course they work best with pairs of words that have a close correspondence between languages, typically basic nouns.  Single word flashcards will get you quickly up and running with […]


Oxford Comma

It’s just a comma! Or is it? [gap height=”15″] I’ve had a lot of questions recently about punctuation and the role it plays in English. So is punctuation important when you speak English? I think so. Let’s look at the simple comma. [gap height=”15″] Some people say that commas can help you put pauses in […]

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But… synonyms and antonyms…

When I was young my father banned me from saying ‘yeah but…’ when he was trying to reason with me and say no. Although this was a very frustrating situation it did teach me to find other ways to say ‘but’… [gap height=”15″] However / although / on the other hand / yet / alternatively […]


What would you do…. (Lost)

 Lost! You are on a ship. A fire on board has destroyed the radio. From the rate the water is rising inside the ship you estimate that it will sink within two hours. You did not tell the authorities of your destination. It will take about 45 minutes to launch the only lifeboat which can […]


I need English for work

Knowing English and having the vocabulary learned from a textbook is very important at some work places.  But what about the things that the textbooks don’t teach you?  Have you heard a phrase that totally confuses you and then you lose your train of thought and all of the sudden are totally lost?  Usually when […]