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Monthly Archives: February 2016

Indirect Questions – English lesson with quiz

students learning about indirect question in English
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CEFR English level

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Read the following text:


Hello, Maltalingua School of English. How may I help you?


Hello, yes. I wonder if you could give me some information about your afternoon lessons.


Yes of course.


I’d like to know what the lesson times are for the afternoon lessons.


Our afternoon intensive lessons begin at 1:30PM and finish at 3:00PM.


Could you tell me the maximum number of students per class?


The maximum number of students per class is twelve students.


Twelve students! That’s great! I’ll have lots of people to speak to. Do you know if the teacher is from England?


We have teachers from all over the world. They’re all qualified and they all speak very clearly.


That sounds good. Do you think you could tell me when the next course begins?


We have a new course starting every week. Would you like to book a starting date?

Look at the indirect questions used to make polite requests:

You can use indirect questions when you are making polite enquiries. Direct questions can sometimes sound impolite.

Begin indirect questions with introduction + (‘if’ or question word) + indirect question.

Do you know if he wants to go direct?

Here are some common introductions to indirect questions:

I wonder…

I’d like to know…

Could you tell me…?

Do you think you could tell me…?

Change the questions below into indirect questions. Use different introductions.


Where can I buy an American or English newspaper?


How many cinemas are there in the town?


What time do the banks open in the morning?


Is there an internet café in the city centre?


Which restaurant is the best in town?


Are there any non-smoking restaurants near here?


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Health Idioms – English vocabulary lesson with quiz

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There are many English language health idioms.
Read the text below and look out for the health idioms in bold.

February 6th – Britain’s sick day

A recent study conducted in Britain has discovered that February 6th is the day when most Britons take the day off sick. Professor Cary Cooper, who carried out the research, said absence due to fake illnesses is becoming more common on this day. Apparently, in early February, “many people are still feeling the need to celebrate Christmas”. The study showed that over 50 percent of 4,000 interviewees took at least one fake sick day each year. There was great regional variation, with Londoners skipping work an average three days a year, compared to 13 for workers in the northern city of Liverpool. Most people phoning in sick pretended to cough or to have sore throats to add a touch of truth to their falsification.

Reasons varied for taking a sickie. There was widespread disappointment at the lack of official and national holidays, even though British workers are considered lucky, compared to other nationalities across the Atlantic. Other reasons cited included a need to recharge batteries, perhaps they were feeling a bit under the weather after the Christmas and New Year break. Some wanted a longer weekend break and needed time to recover from a hangover or catch up on sleep.

Many people also expressed that they refused to use up a day from their official yearly holidays because most British workers prefer to take a two-to-five week block off, rather than divide the days here and there. The good news for bosses is that the rate of workers lying to take a day off is decreasing.

However, there are genuine cases of real sicknesses that happen to fall on this day. Some workers admitted to having called in sick because they felt they were coming down with something, especially if there was a bug going round. In extreme cases, people felt like death warmed up and needed to recover fully before returning to work. If a hangover was the cause of their troubles, a good rest was said to have been one solution.

Whatever the genuine reason for absence is, employers hope that within a short period the absent workers will be on the road to recovery, feeling as right as rain and as fit as a fiddle to resume normal productivity.

Please go to Health Idioms – English vocabulary lesson with quiz to view this test

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Prepositions of Time – English Grammar Lesson with Quiz

Clock tower in Malta.
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When is your birthday? It’s in March.

What time do you work? I start at 6 o’clock.

When is jack’s party? It’s on Friday.

We use prepositions of time to talk about time and to describe when something happened. In English there are different ways to talk about time for example;

Diagram explaining how to use the prepositions of time, in, on and at, in the English language.

IN + months, years, the morning/afternoon/evening

in March, in the morning

ON + days, dates

on Monday, on 16th January

AT + time of day, night

at four o’clock, at night

Please go to Prepositions of Time – English Grammar Lesson with Quiz to view this test
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Saying No – English Lesson with Quiz

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No thank you, I think I’ll pass.

Saying no is never easy but even though we don’t feel comfortable declining certain things, there are times when we need to say no. Here is a list of possible ways to say no:

I’m afraid not

A polite way of saying no

Not really

You don’t care very much about something

I don’t think so/Not as far as/I know/ Not to my knowledge/ Possibly not/ Probably not

You think you know something but are not completely sure

Certainly not/Definitely not

To emphasize that your answer to a question or request is definitely no

Of course not

You think an idea is stupid or insulting

No way/Not likely

Informal: very definite way of saying no

You must be joking/Are you kidding

Shows that you think somebody’s suggestion or request is crazy

Not exactly/Not quite

You think that something is almost (but not) correct or true

I wish I could

Used to express regret that something is not possible

Not especially/Not very (much)

Used to say no to a question about your opinion of something

How are you going to decline the next uncomfortable situation you face?


Flight attendant: Can you fasten your seat belt please?

Passenger: I’m afraid not, it’s broken and I can’t fix it!

Flight attendant: OK Sir.

Look at the exercise below and choose the best way of saying no in English.

Please go to Saying No – English Lesson with Quiz to view this test
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