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.

Adapt vs. Adopt - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between ADAPT and ADOPT: illustrations, definitions, collocations, examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. Both words are verbs, and there are only small differences in their spellings and pronunciations. But be careful, because the meanings of the two words are very different. Knowing when to use each one is important, because otherwise you might suggest making a change when what you mean is that you want to accept something the way it already is!

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Story vs. Storey - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between STORY and STOREY: illustrations, definitions, collocations, examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. The two words have almost identical spellings, and are pronounced in the same way. Both words are nouns, but the definitions are not related at all! One is used to talk about events, and the other is used to describe buildings. It is important to learn the difference, because if you mix them up you might not be understood. Let's look at some examples of each word.

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Compare and Contrast in English

Using the right words and phrases can help you express your ideas in English. To describe your thoughts and ideas, you can compare and contrast. In English, you can use certain words to compare people, things, or ideas to show how they are similar or the same. You can also use certain words to contrast, or tell how people, things, or ideas are different. Learn compare and contrast signal words in this illustrated lesson.

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Imply vs Infer - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between IMPLY and INFER: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. Though they are used in similar, and even sometimes the same, contexts, imply and infer mean very different things. It can be easy to mix them up. Saying you implied something when you really inferred it is a mistake even native English speakers make. However, with a little work, you will be sure to never mix them up again. Let's take a look at a few examples to help you understand the difference.

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Council vs. Counsel - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between COUNCIL and COUNSEL: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. These are two commonly confused words in the English language. Even though they sound the same and have similar spellings, they mean very different things. If you mix them up, you might end up with a large group of politicians gathered in your living room when you really just meant to ask for advice! Let's look at some examples to make sure a mix up like that never happens.

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Causes and Effects in English

When we talk about a situation that makes another situation happen, we talk about cause and effect. In English, we use certain expressions such as because, due to, since, and as to talk about causes and effects. Click the link to learn the meanings of cause, effect (noun), and affect (verb). There are many illustrated examples to help you study.

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Coarse vs. Course - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between COARSE and COURSE: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. They sound the same and are spelled almost the same, with only one letter that is different. However, that one letter makes a huge difference in their meanings. It's important to learn the difference between them so you don't accidentally accuse someone of being rude when you're actually talking about a race!

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Censor vs. Censure - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between CENSOR and CENSURE: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers. Though these two words look similar, they sound slightly different and have very different meanings. It's important to learn the difference between the two, otherwise you might end up harshly criticizing someone when you just meant to make sure that a movie was appropriate!

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Farther vs. Further - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between FARTHER and FURTHER: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers.

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Hands-on Activities for Teaching English

Students learn in a variety of ways. Teaching English with hands-on activities can help language students learn and practice English vocabulary, grammar, concepts, and ideas. Here are six hands-on activities and games for teaching English + illustrations

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Pole vs. Poll - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between POLE and POLL: definitions, illustrated examples, tips, practice story, final quiz, and answers.

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Aisle vs. Isle - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between AISLE vs. ISLE: definitions, illustrated examples, practice story and final quiz.

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Indirect Questions Worksheet

Indirect Questions Worksheet

Indirect questions are used to try to get information. We can use indirect questions if we want to ask a more personal or formal question.

Indirect questions are more polite than direct questions.

Practice indirect questions in English using this fully illustrated worksheet.

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Principle vs. Principal - What Is the Difference? (with Illustrations and Examples)

This lesson explains the difference between PRINCIPLE and PRINCIPAL: definitions, illustrated examples, practice story and a final quiz.

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Pronouns Worksheet

Pronouns Worksheet

Practice English pronouns with this fully illustrated worksheet:

  • Exercise A: Personal Pronouns
  • Exercise B: Indefinite Pronouns
  • Exercise C: Subjective Pronouns, Objective Pronouns, and Possessive Pronouns

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The Mystery of the Shattered Ice: Story, Glossary, Exercises, Answers

Capitalization Rules Worksheet

A lesson to practice winter vocabulary. This lesson is for intermediate students. It practices reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, essay writing, sentence structure, and role play. The story is about Roger, and a surprising crime in a small town. You can read the story and the exercises online, or download the full booklet (36 pages). It's free to download if you share the page.

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Love Stories for English Learners – To Catch a Thief, Part 2

A short story in intermediate English – To Catch a Thief, Part 2: The conductor listens to their story, but Michael knows he's already made up his mind. –"That's certainly a creative story," the conductor says. "But I can't let you ride without a ticket." –"But we have tickets," Ellen says, holding hers up. "They're just for a different train. The train we were supposed to take." The brakes hiss as the train pulls into the next station. –"I can't let you ride without a ticket," the conductor repeats. "You two need to get off the train."

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Love Stories for English Learners – To Catch a Thief, Part 1

A short story in intermediate English – To Catch a Thief, Part 1: Michael looks around the platform while he waits for his train. He always likes watching people at train stations and airports. He loves wondering what kind of journey they are on. He notices a woman standing a few feet away, her back turned toward him as she checks the train schedule on the board hanging above her. He moves to the side a few feet to try to get a better look at her without being too obvious and creepy. "She's cute," he thinks. He can't see her very well, but he can tell she has shoulder-length brown hair and freckles…

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T and TT Sounds

Most letters in English do not have just one sound. T and Double T (TT) are pronounced in three different ways, or the T can be silent. How do you pronounce these? In this lesson, you will learn how to pronounce the T and TT sounds in English.

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 3: LSD – Answer Key

Drug education resource: a story, exercises, and an answer key. Teach English and prepare students for life. This time it is about – LSD. After reading all three parts of the story, watching the video, and doing the exercises, check your answers using this answer key.

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 3: LSD – Exercises

Drug education resource: a story, exercises, and an answer key. Teach English and prepare students for life. This time it is about – LSD. After reading all three parts of the story and watching the video, do these exercises. The exercises practice: vocabulary, expressions, grammar, comprehension, and essay writing. Don't forget to check your answers!

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 3: LSD, Part 3

Drug education resource: a story, exercises, and an answer key. Teach English and prepare students for life. This time it is about – LSD (Part 3 of the Story): Over the next few days, Max and I get closer and closer. We go to a movie together, Max takes me to dinner, and we even go salsa dancing. It is so much fun! I have no clue how to dance, but Max shows me the steps. I didn't even know he could dance. The more time I spend with him, the more he seems like the Max I met online, the Max I can trust. So I agree when he suggests I try LSD again...

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 3: LSD, Part 2

Drug education resource: a story, exercises, and an answer key. Teach English and prepare students for life. This time it is about – LSD (Part 2 of the Story): As the sky grows darker, I see things move in the shadows. Thousands of snakes and spiders suddenly pour out of them. They're coming for me. I look over at Max for help, but he's smiling happily. He looks as happy as a dead puppet, under the drug's control...

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English Reading Practice, Drug Education Story Number 3: LSD

Drug education resource: a story, exercises, and an answer key. Teach English and prepare students for life. This time it is about – LSD: I hope my second year of college will be easier than the first. Last year, I had to adjust to the wild parties of college after growing up with very strict parents. I struggled through it, making good grades, but not a lot of friends and definitely no boyfriends. I thought in college it would be easy to finally find a boyfriend, but last year I was too shy to talk to anyone I thought was remotely attractive...

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Winter Story for Beginners in Easy English

Practice winter vocabulary and basic grammar (sentence structure, positive sentences, negative sentences and yes/no questions) with a fun, illustrated story + graphic.

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Love Stories for English Learners – Ghost Poems, Part 2

A short story in intermediate English – Ghost Poems, Part 2: Summer smiles. She has a nice smile, Julian thinks. Julian hasn't really seen anyone smile much these past few days. Everyone just gives him sympathetic looks. Her smile is so comforting and fresh after all the frowns...

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Love Stories for English Learners – Ghost Poems, Part 1

A short story in intermediate English – Ghost Poems, Part 1: Julian sits at his desk, typing endless lines of code. He's working on a program that is supposed to model fluctuations in global stock markets. He knows it sounds like boring work, but he loves it. He just puts on his headphones and starts typing and it takes him to a different place. Julian is in one of these zoned out moods when his phone rings, which is why he doesn't answer it. But then it rings and rings and rings and finally gets his attention. He checks it and sees it's his Uncle Jeff calling. This strikes Julian as odd. He and his uncle have never been particularly close and never talk on the phone…

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English Reading Practice: What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Fruit and Vegetables

An English reading practice lesson on the importance of eating fruit and vegetables. Practice reading and learn the different fruit and vegetables names in English (illustrated).

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Love Stories for Learners in Simple English – Snowy Day (Story, Illustrated Glossary, Exercises, Answer Key)

Even as Kate is driving to the cabin, she isn't sure why she's doing it. Her friends told her about the party a few days ago and begged her to come. She tried to get out of it by telling them that she had to work on her applications for graduate school, but they insisted she needed a break so she finally agreed...

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Reported Speech Exercises

This lesson contains interactive exercises to help you practice direct speech and reported speech (indirect speech). Reported speech means to say what someone else said, without actually quoting them. Meaning, you don't necessarily use their own words. Do these exercises and check your answers automatically! A free worksheet is available too, if you share the page.

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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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