Really Learn English Blog

In this blog you can find the latest additions to the site: articles, explanations, illustrations, exercises, flashcards and stories - all about teaching and learning English.

Tag Questions Exercises

Practice different kinds of tag questions: adding tag questions to sentences with the verb BE, sentences in the simple present tense, and sentences with modal verbs (positive and negative sentences). Check your answers automatically!

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Love Stories for Learners in Simple English – The Show Must Go On (Story, Glossary, Exercises, Answer Key)

Beautiful stories in simple English for you to read, download and practice. Read interesting stories and improve your English at the same time.

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Love Stories for Learners in Simple English – A Tale of Two Jackets (Story, Glossary, Exercises, Answer Key)

Beautiful stories in simple English for you to read, download and practice. Read interesting stories and improve your English at the same time.

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My Clothes, My Identity

I like to wear clothes that express who I am. For example, I went to college. And I like to wear clothes that look like I went to college. I like to wear a collar, sometimes even a tie. I think it makes me look educated and I'm proud of the education I have. But at the same time, for example, I spent a long time working physically, in a factory and in the Army. And one of the things you do when you do physical work, is you roll the sleeves of your shirt up. And now, when I'm working, without even thinking I roll the sleeves of my shirt up. It's just a working reflex and I like it, it's part of who I am: I work. My history is a part of my personality, and I like clothes that express that. What kind of clothes do you wear? How would you describe your style? Do your clothes say anything about you? Do they describe who you are? This lesson includes a PDF and an audio file.

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What's Your Style?

An honest discussion about style. Do clothes make the man? Can you be dressed for success? Practice reading and listening on the topic of fashion. This lesson includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Talking About Fashion

This week we're going to be talking about clothing, and about the kinds of clothing that people wear. The word for that is fashion, and I have to say that I'm not an expert in it. Some of my clothes are ten years old! I wore them in high school... Practice reading and listening on the topic of fashion. This lesson includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Talking about Pregnancy: The Preparation

Christine and Toby want to announce the news to their families. Because they kept the secret of their pregnancy for the first trimester, it was important to them to make a big announcement. They were very excited to talk about it and wanted to do a good job… Practice reading and listening on the topic of pregnancies. This lesson includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Talking sbout Pregnancy: The Announcement

Christine and Toby want to announce the news to their families. Because they kept the secret of their pregnancy for the first trimester, it was important to them to make a big announcement. They were very excited to talk about it and wanted to do a good job… Practice reading and listening on the topic of pregnancies. This lesson includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Talking about Pregnancy: The First Trimester

The first three months of a pregnancy are called the first trimester. A trimester is three months of a pregnancy. Christine and Toby just finished the first trimester of her pregnancy, and it was an exciting time. Practice reading and listening on the topic of pregnancies. This lesson also includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Expecting: The English of Pregnancies

Learn some vocabulary for talking about pregnancies and babies. For those of you who already have children, you know that this is a topic that gets re-visited over and over again. For those of you who don't expect children at all or any time soon, it is still something you will find yourself talking about in English, if you wait long enough. This lesson also includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Describing Myself

My name is Toby and I am the writer and teacher behind the Bite Sized English section. Today, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. About the person behind the voice you hear so often at Bite Sized English. You know I am a teacher, but I think my profession is only a small part of who I am. I view myself as an American living in Germany. I really enjoy living in Germany, but I also really enjoy being an American... (This lesson also includes a PDF and an audio file.)

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Character and a Few Traits

The word character trait means one of these things that make you who you are. One part of your personality, a habit of yours. Today, I want to introduce a few common character traits. This lesson also includes a PDF and an audio file.

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Compound Nouns in English

In English, words can be combined to form compound nouns. A compound noun is a noun made of two or more words. Each compound noun works as a single noun. There are many compound nouns in English, so it is important that you learn and understand them. In this lesson you will learn about different types and forms of compound nouns, and how to make them plural.

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Describing Yourself: What Do You Do?

When you describe yourself, you might think to describe your appearance, first. But, when you meet someone, they very seldom ask you what you look like! What are the questions that you ask someone when you first meet them? Perhaps one or more of these: Where are you from? What do you do? What do you do for fun? Do you like to read? What's your favorite book? The list is, of course, limitless, but today we're going to start talking about some hobbies and interests, as well as the vocabulary to describe your hobbies and interests.

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Learn English for Free!

Get these free resources and learn English for free! Really Learn English is proud to present the Freebies Section – stories, exercises, and grammar. New resources coming soon!

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Plural Nouns in English

There are many nouns in English. Nouns can either be singular or plural. It is usually easy to create plural nouns in English, but there are some exceptions. In this lesson, you will learn regular plural nouns rules and irregular plural nouns rules. At the end, you can practice with plural nouns worksheets.

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You and I vs You and Me - Subjective and Objective Pronouns

You and I vs You and Me is confusing for English learners. Even some native speakers have difficulties with this! In this lesson, you will learn the differences between the English pronouns I and Me. You will also learn a trick to help you use them correctly in sentences.

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Different Accents in English - How comfortable are your students?

As your students continue to improve their English, they should be comfortable interacting with speakers from many different parts of the world. It is important for them to practice listening to different accents and kinds of English. Learn how to achieve this in your classroom.

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Are vs Our vs Hour - How are they different?

The words ARE, OUR, and HOUR are confusing for many students. Depending on your accent and where you live, all three words might be pronounced the same or two of them might be pronounced the same. However, they all have different meanings. What are their differences?

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Comparatives and Superlatives - Adjectives and Adverbs

Comparative and superlative adverbs are used to compare two or more people or things. Click here to learn how to form comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs.

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Helping Verbs Worksheet

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Helping verbs are verbs that are used WITH a main verb to express an action or state.

helping verb + main verb = complete idea

Examples:

  • He does not want to go today.
  • Bill does love you!
  • She is baking cookies.
  • Fred and Lisa are walking to the park.

Practice with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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The "Pasts" in a Pop Quiz: Present Perfect and Simple Past

A complete review of the differences between the simple past and present perfect: meaning and usage. At the end there is also a quick quiz!

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Convince vs Persuade - What Is the Difference?

"Convince" and "persuade" are two words in English that are often confused. They are both verbs that have similar meanings. To convince is to cause someone to believe something is true. To persuade is to talk someone into doing something (to make them do something by giving reasons for doing it). Learn more about these two words in this lesson.

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Countable and Uncountable Nouns Worksheet

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Countable nouns (also called count nouns) are nouns that we can actually count. They have singular and plural forms.

For example: apples, students, children, birds, etc.

Uncountable nouns (also called noncount nouns and mass nouns) are nouns that:

  • cannot be counted
  • cannot be made plural
  • cannot be used alone with numbers
  • are not usually used with "a" or "an"

For example: water, sugar, work, food, etc.

Practice countable and uncountable nouns with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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Immigrant Vs Emigrant vs Migrate - What Is the Difference?

Immigrate and emigrate are words in English that are pronounced the same. They are homophones. That means they have the same sound, but they have different meanings. In this lesson, you will learn how to correctly use these two words in your writing. At the end of the lesson, you will also learn about the word migrate.

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Commands in English

Giving commands in English is quite simple. Learn how to give instructions, directions, commands, and suggestions to one person or a group of people in positive and negative forms.

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Gerunds and Infinitives Worksheet

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A gerund is a noun made from a verb. To make a gerund, you add "-ing" to the verb. For example, "swimming" is a gerund. An infinitive is the basic form of the verb + "to." For example, "to swim" is an infinitive.

What is the difference between gerunds and infinitives? When should you use each? Practice gerunds and infinitives now with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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Capitalization Rules Worksheet

Capitalization Rules Worksheet

Capitalization is the act of making specific letters capital.

There are several rules on how to do it correctly: (1) Capitalize the first letter of the first word of a complete sentence. (2) Capitalize the first letter of a proper noun. (3) Capitalize titles. (There are even more rules!)

Practice capitalization rules now with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share! Here is one of the questions. Which one is correct?

1. On Monday, Tim gave Ms. Terrence her sixth Apple.
2. On Monday, Tim gave ms. Terrence her sixth apple.
3. On Monday, Tim gave Ms. Terrence her sixth apple.
4. On monday, Tim gave Ms. Terrence her sixth apple.

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Adverbs Worksheet

A woman asking a question

An adverb is a word that describes or gives more information about a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or even an entire sentence. For example: yesterday, slowly, sometimes, very, temporarily, surely. Adverb placement is important! Do you know which one of the following is correct?

- Ted early likes to cook eggs.
- Ted likes to cook eggs early.
- Ted likes to cook early eggs.

Practice adverbs now with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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Adjectives Worksheet

An adjective is a word that describes a person or thing. For example: big, pretty, expensive, green, round, French, loud, quick, fat. Practice adjectives now with this illustrated worksheet. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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Find a Penpal

Lesson and audio: The idea of a penpal is very old. A penpal is someone—normally from another country—who you never met "in real life, " but who you trade letters with. Of course, just like everything else, it's been updated by the Internet. Now, a penpal can be someone you trade email with. Still, it's normally not a person you met in real life. The question is, how can you find someone to help you practice your English?

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Learning Vocabulary (Part Two)

Lesson and audio: Learning vocabulary is like anything in learning English: what counts is practice. And, when I say "practice," I mean repetition: use the word over and over. And then use it some more. The question is, how do you use it? Today we're going to talk about three ideas: flash cards, a vocabulary journal, and free writing.

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Vocabulary (Part One)

Lesson and audio: When you're learning English—or any language—one of the most frustrating things is realizing that you have a lot more ideas than you have words. There are things you know, but can't say. It's a problem that everyone has when learning a language. The solution to this problem is clear: vocabulary. The more words you know—and know how to use—the better you can express yourself. But, when you know that your vocabulary isn't good enough, how do you find the words that you need? How do you learn them, so that they'll be in your "memory" when the time comes to use them?

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ESL Lessons

ESL Lessons section: here you will be able to find a lot of info and many activities for ESL and EFL students and teachers. Make sure you also check out the Bite Sized English section for short lessons, vocabulary, and audio.

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About Your Teacher Toby

Hi, my name is Toby and I am a twenty-nine year old American living in Germany. I am the driving force behind Bite Sized English and I'm glad you've come to visit. On this page, I want to tell you a little bit about myself. I told you I'm 29. I'm more than a little bit scared of turning thirty, but it won't happen until next year. And I love to read and love to drink coffee. Among other things, I'm married, a father-to-be and the proud dad of one dog and two cats.

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Grammar at School: "Can I" and "May I"...

I will tell you right now: if you confuse "can" and "may," most people won't hear the difference. This is not a grammar point where you risk sounding like an idiot. But, if you're learning English for work and you want your clients to think you're intelligent and responsible, let me add this piece of advice: using "may" when you're supposed to will make you sound smarter!

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Talking about School: Insults

School vocabulary – lesson and audio: I've discovered that there's nothing my students like quite so much as learning insults and profanity in English. I just hope that they don't use the words that I teach them! Talking about schools, though, is a good time to talk about insults. I remember using – and hearing – a lot of insults when I was in school. I know that insults can be fun to learn – I like finding new ones in German, too – but don't use them. At least, never use them without the other person knowing that you're joking, and never use them behind someone's back.

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Talking about School: Vocabulary at School

School vocabulary – lesson and audio: It can seem like schools have a language all of their own. Inside the classroom, there is plenty of vocabulary to learn, too! When I think back to when I was in school, what I remember most was how controlling school was: the permission slips and the hall passes. Was your school controlling? Do you think schools need to be controlling? What's your strongest memory of school? Was there anything in your school that you haven't seen since?

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Talking about School: Schoolwork

School vocabulary – lesson and audio: When you were in school, was there a subject you hated? Was there a subject you loved? Which subject helped you most with your job now? Is there a subject you wish you'd worked at harder? (I wish I learned more when I was in math.) Do you think that homework helped you learn? What books would you make required reading for kids today?

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Bad vs. Badly - What Is the Difference?

Bad and badly are often confused in English. Bad is an adjective and is often used after linking verbs. Badly is an adverb and is often used after action verbs. In this lesson, you will learn how to use bad and badly. We will also review action verbs and linking verbs. You can practice with a quiz at the end of the lesson.

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Parts of Speech Worksheet

A part of speech is a group of words that are used in a certain way. For example, "run," "jump," and "be" are all used to describe actions/states. Therefore they belong to the VERBS group. There are eight different English parts of speech. Practice them now with this illustrated worksheet! Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 2: Marijuana

English reading practice – a drug education story. This time it is about: Marijuana. I was a successful businessman and got to travel around the world. I had smoked marijuana (also called weed) for years. Some told me it was harmful. I just laughed. Life had proved to me just how right I was: I was well educated and had a prestigious job in which I was earning four times what most people my age earn. I also had a gorgeous and intelligent girlfriend. And on top of everything, I even had impressive client accounts and around-the-world trips paid for by my company...

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English Vocabulary at the Airport

In this lesson, you will learn 45 English vocabulary words commonly heard at the airport and on the airplane. Read the explanation, understand the part of speech, and make sure you practice!

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Talking about School: School Memories

School vocabulary – lesson and audio: I think that, of all my childhood memories, the strongest are from when I was in school. I didn't like school itself – and I don't trust anyone who says he did – but I remember having a lot of fun with my clique and acting up in class. I got good grades, but I wasn't the teacher's pet! I was always in some kind of trouble at school. Did you act up at school? What did you do? What was your clique like? Was it a good time for you? Are you still in school? If you are, do you like it? Do you think your childhood and school experiences can help decide what kind of person you become?

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Bite Sized English - "Did" and "Have Done": The Feelings

We've already talked about the grammar of the present perfect and the simple past. Would you be surprised if I told you that the grammar was the easy part? Most Americans will say that in certain situations the simple past simply sounds better. So, is it possible to learn what sounds good and what doesn't? Is it possible to learn a feeling? It is. There are four guidelines to remember. It seems like a lot at first, but it's not more than you can learn with practice, I promise.

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Bite Sized English - English for the Unexpected: Car Accidents

We have sub zero temperatures and slippery roads, and this week I had my first ever car accident. In this lesson I will describe the accident and some relevant vocabulary. Do you think you could have handled a similar situation in English? Can you describe your last car accident – or one you heard about from friends or family – in English? What happened? Who caused the accident? Were there any injuries?

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Bite Sized English - Talking about Work: The Office Atmosphere

Learn some office atmosphere vocabulary: What kind of atmosphere is in your office? I'm not talking about oxygen and nitrogen, I'm talking about the way you feel when you're at work. Do you get along with your co-workers? Do you have a good boss? The office atmosphere is influenced by a lot of things, including how much stress you have at work and how your co-workers and boss react to the stress. People who leave their jobs almost always say the atmosphere at work is the biggest factor in their decision to leave. How's the atmosphere at your job? How was the atmosphere at your last job? What factors could improve the atmosphere? How well do your co-workers and boss react to stress? How well do you react to stress?

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Airport Questions and Answers in English

Going to an airport can be scary if you are learning English. Even if you know a lot of English, it can sometimes be difficult to understand all the questions and conversations in an airport. In this lesson, we will list and explain common questions and problems at the airport check-in counter. It is important to use the right words, so you can get on your flight and arrive at your destination safely.

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Indirect Questions Worksheet

This is a new illustrated worksheet about asking indirect questions in English. Check your answers using the answer key – free to download if you share!

Direct questions are used to try to get information.
For example: "When will she be here?" 

Indirect questions are also used to try to get information, but are a polite and longer form of direct questions. They are sometimes said as a statement and written with a period instead of a question mark.
For example: "Mom wants to know if you are hungry."

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