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Sample Lesson

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A grammar point

A phrasal verb

A short everyday conversation

A proverb or idiom

A newsarticle


'Since' - a grammar point:

Example conversation: Fran: How long have you known your husband?
Jane: Since I was 8 or 9.
Explanation: Jane chooses to use 'since' and not 'for' in this conversation because she wants to tell her friend her age when she met her husband. She could have said 'For 20 years' but she didn't. 'Since' focuses on the beginning of an action and 'for' focuses on the length of the action although both expressions are used when the action started in the past and is still continuing now. We use 'since' and 'for' for this meaning with the Present Perfect Tense.
Other examples: Since breakfast, I've had two cups of coffee. I've had this car since I was at university.
BE CAREFUL: Since I haven't got a TV, I can't watch the news.
Since you haven't helped with the washing up, you can't watch TV!
In these sentences 'since' means 'because'

'to split up' - a phrasal verb

Meaning: To end a romantic relationship between a man and a woman
Example: Anne: Are you still [1] going out with Derek?
  Jean:  No. We [2] split up last month.
Explanation: [1] 'to go out with someone' means to have a romantic relationship with someone
[2] 'to split up' Jean is telling her friend that she and Derek are no longer girlfriend and boyfriend.
We cannot say 'I split up.' - it must be 'We split up.'
We can say 'I split up' with my boyfriend last week.'

Everyday conversation

On the telephone: Jeni: Great news. Madge and Harold got [1] engaged last night.
Nicola: Did they? When are they [2] getting married?
Jeni: Next year, I think.
Meaning: [1] 'to get engaged' means that Harold asked Madge to marry him and she accepted. Now they have promised to marry each other in the future and he has bought her a ring as a symbol of that promise.
  [2] 'to get married' this is a confusing expression because the same thing can be expressed in another way
  Other Examples: We are married (now)
We have been married since 1993 (from that time until now)
Compare: I/We got married in July 1993
  We married in July 1993
Explanation: These two sentences mean the same but English speakers prefer the first one.

A proverb and an idiom

Proverb: 'Love is blind' (not really a proverb but a saying)
Explanation: Explanation: When you are in love with someone you cannot see their faults - you are 'blind' to their faults. They look perfect to you!
NB English people do not usually say the whole of the proverb, just the first part. This is because all English people know them.
Idiom: 'to be head over heels in love with someone' or 'to fall head over heels in love'
Example: Chris: They are head over heels in love and they are getting married next month!
to be totally in love with another person. This is usually used to express the state of intense emotion which two lovers feel in the early part of their relationship.
Compare: Carole: They met in Greece and fell head over heels in love.
Explanation: this is used to describe what happened when they met. It's an action (though not literal) not a state. They met, they fell (head over heels) in love and now they are (head over heels) in love.

A news article

[1] Rolling back the years

[2] Snuggled up against his [3] fiancee, Edna (92), Rob Small (91) said [4] 'I should have married Edna long ago. She was my first love.' [5] As teenagers, they fell in love and got engaged. But in 1929 [6] 'outside interference' [7] brought their three-year relationship to an end. [8]However, there is a happy ending, [9] for the couple [10] are to marry on Saturday. [11] 'I am going to make her very happy' said Bill.


[1] 'Rolling back the years' means looking back into the past.

[2] 'snuggled up' means sitting very close to someone. 'snuggle' implies that they were both very comfortable and warm sitting together. 'In the winter it's nice to snuggle up in front of the fire.'

[3] 'fiancee' is the word for a woman who is engaged. It's a French word. The word 'fiance' is for a man. 'My fiancee works in London.'

[4] 'should have married' means I didn't marry her and I regret not marrying her - I made a mistake.

[5] 'as teenagers' means 'when they were teenagers'.

[6] 'outside interference' means that maybe their parents stopped them from getting married. It wasn't their decision not to get married.

[7] 'to bring something to an end' means 'to finish something'. 'They brought the meeting to an end early and went home.'

[8] 'However,' is used here as a more formal 'but'. It means the same but is usually used at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a comma.

[9] 'for' here means 'because'

[10] 'are to marry' means 'they are going to marry'. The 'is/are+infinitive' structure is often used in newspaper articles instead of 'going to'.

[11] Now read it again

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