Many people over the years have tried to buy the Mask of Tutankhamen from the Egyptian Museum, but unsurprisingly the authorities here believe it is priceless so they won’t sell it
Ebenezer Scrooge was such a stingy man, so much so that in English, we sometimes use the word Scrooge to describe people with this characteristic (who are like this). A miser is someone who hates spending any money.
He spent a lot of money on what he thought was a gold watch but when he had it valued, it turned out to be worthless.
I sometimes disagree with stall holders, so I haggle which sometimes gets the price down
Big companies like Pepsi make a killing. They should put their prices down. I sometimes like to splash out on new clothes, but not very often
When I was a student I didn’t have enough money to live on so I took out an overdraft at the bank. I paid it all off in the end (finally)
The men were sent to prison for forgery, that is, making counterfeit money
This dialogue has a lot of expressions and phrases.
Joe Hi Bill. Why so glum ? You look down in the dumps.
Bill Oh, just worrying about money. The cost of living keeps going up …
Joe And our wages stay the same. Tell me about it. I’ve had to economise.
Bill Same here; no more beer or Highlands coffee. I feel so stingy !
Joe I always haggle at the market now, try to get the price down. I hate being ripped off.
Bill I’m worried about paying off my overdraft. The interest alone is crippling me.
Joe We should invest in land. My friend sold some land recently and made a killing.
Bill But we’ll need money to invest in the first place. Then there’s always bills.
Joe Yes, my bike’s in the shop, so I’m having to use Grabbike and that ain’t cheap !
2. This is to practice wedding and money phrases.
Tom Congratulations ! You’re finally tying the knot and getting spliced.
Bob Yeah, it’s time to settle down. I’ve taken out a mortage and a loan for the wedding.
Tom It must be costing you an arm and a leg: catering, hall, flowers, photos, invitations.
Bob Absolutely, I’ve withdrawn all my saving and gone into the red. I hate being overdrawn; the interest is sky-high. And, not forgetting, the honeymoon.
Tom You can put down a deposit and pay later. Cheer up ! Don’t be a Scrooge
Bob That’s easy for you to say. I’m gonna be broke and in debt … until I retire !
Use more interesting adverbs and linking words e.g.
although / as well as / somewhat / therefore
Rearrange these basic sentences to make more interesting ones (we use ‘one’ as a pronoun for the noun instead of repeating ourselves)
I went to the market today. I bought fish and chicken and vegetables.
Today I bought fish, chicken as well as vegetables in the market.
Last night I stayed at home because it was raining.
It was raining last night therefore I stayed at home.
I saw the new action film. It was a little boring.
Peter was tired but he met his friends for a drink.
Sophie studied very hard. She passed her test.
For western people, Thailand is cheap. Vietnam is cheaper.
To help you improve your speaking skills, here is a small project:
Write a short piece about something you love or adore.
Start with an introduction
Say why you like it
Maybe tell some history or an anecdote (a short, personal story)
Give some examples
End with a short conclusion
I love all types of music, but one of my favourites is Jazz. It can be exciting, or slow, but it’s always different.
Unlike other types of music, Jazz is spontaneous. This means that you never hear the same song the same way; each performance is different.
Jazz started in New Orleans but moved up to Chicago, New York and even west to California. The first records were made in 1917 and the first true Jazz genius was Louis Armstrong. If you want to hear jazz, you should listen to his records from the 1920s.
You may know some famous Jazz artists such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane or Charlie Parker. I can recommend these musicians to you as first-rate examples of Jazz.
I hope this has made you curious about Jazz, and that you go online to listen for yourself. Who knows, maybe you too will learn to love Jazz.
And … listen to music (with lyrics), films (short clips – 30 seconds to 1 minute) and TV shows with subtitles.
Any English song with lyrics (words) will be a great way to learn, and fun as well.
Film ‘King’s Speech’
TV show – ‘Eastenders’
This is a ‘soap opera’ – a TV drama that is shown two or three times a week. Each episode last 30 minutes and has many different characters. This drama is set in eat London, so many people have an accent typical of that area. See how much you understand.
For individual letter sounds, the British Council has many good videos: