TOEIC: Last day of class

On the day of the test you will need to concentrate and work to the best of your ability for about two hours. We have discussed in class how important it is for you to be fully prepared. Here is a reminder.

  • ·         Avoid stress. Be there early.
  • ·         Be comfortable and well rested.
  • ·         Bring pencil, eraser, and a watch.
  • ·         Answer all questions.
  • ·         Budget your time.

Thank you for working with me during your preparation. I have enjoyed teaching you. I wish you the best of luck.

If you want to have the audio for the 2007 test that we did in class and the answers you may want to go the following link:

Remember the balloon metaphor? Well… “Happy flying!!!”

TOEIC: Irregular verbs

Most verbs are regular in English and they form their past tense and past participles  by adding a -d or an -ed to the end of the verb.

If a verb does not follow this rule, it is considered irregular and students need to study in order to learn the form. Click on the following link if you want to see some fairly common irregular verbs.

If you want to do an exercise on irregular verbs you may want to go to:

If you want to do an exercise where regular and irregular verbs are used in passive you may go to:


Class presentations

The reasons we have class presentations is for you to :

  • Improve your speaking skills
  • learn how to address an audience
  • learn how to find and prepare information for public presentation

The focus of this project was on making your presentation as interactive as possible; this  is why you were instructed to engage the audience through questions, and invitations to guess and predict. In order to do this, as I said in class, you may use notes where you have written questions that you can use in combination with the visuals on  each slide.

If you want to remember the basic principles in creating a presentation you may want to go to this link:

We are in the initial stages of discussing how to present information. With our next project when we go to the library I will give you a checklist that you can use for guidance when you create your presentations.

Please remember that all  students should receive questions from their peers after they present in class but there is no formal peer evaluation. This project is done on the basis of sharing information on a general theme that we have agreed on.

Some students have expressed an interest in having their presentations on the blog so I present here some examples of their work on the themes of legends and myths and famous people.


Class visit: “Cats” the musical

Connecting work in class to the outside world is very important for students. It motivates learners and helps incorporate culture in the EFL classroom. Now that “Cats” is in town we have an opportunity because “Cats” is not just any musical. “Cats” has made history in the West End, London and Broadway, NY for years. I am very glad we are going. I’d like to thank Sandy for suggesting it.

If you want to see the ppt that we used in class and go back to the activities before the visit you can go to following link.


I’m looking forward to seeing you at the performance on Sunday.


At the Badmington Theater

‘d rather, d’sooner


  1. Would rather/would sooner mean “prefer”. The short forms are: ’d rather/’d sooner

The syntax depends on the person who does the action:

Look at the following sentences:

I would rather go now

I would sooner go now

There are two actions in these sentences. First: someone prefers something. Second: someone goes

Who prefers? Me          Who goes? Me

The same person prefers and the same person goes. When the person who prefers and the person who does the second action are the same, the second verb goes in bare infinitive= infinitive without to

  1. I’d rather you went now

I’d sooner you went now

Who prefers? Me    Who goes? You

There are two people involved in these examples. When the person who prefers and the person who does the second action are different, the second verb goes in a past tense form.

(Technically some grammar books would classify this form as subjunctive but it looks the same as the past)

  1. When the time frame of the above situations changes, the tenses and the meaning change. If we want to talk about a situation in the past and express a preference about it, we are probably expressing regret because we cannot change the facts in the past. What is done is done. For example:

I parked my car in a non-parking zone last night. I got ticket and a fine.

Do I regret parking there? Big time! Still, there is nothing I can do to change the facts. I can express my regret my saying:

I’d rather I hadn’t parked there./I’d rather I had parked somewhere else./I’d rather I had found a better place to park ect

If my husband is the one who parked the car, I can say:

I’d rather he hadn’t parked there.

So when you talk about things that happened in the past and you regret them you use past perfect.

If you want to work on : ‘d rather, d’sooner, wish, you may want to go to the following link:

If you find the word sooner confusing in its use and you are wondering about other expressions like: no sooner than…etc, you may want to look at the following link:’d%20sooner


Passive Voice

Passive voice is used when the focus is on the action. It is not important or not known who or what is performing the action.

In some sentences, passive voice can be perfectly acceptable. You might use it in the following cases:

The person who is doing the action is unknown:

e.g  My wallet was stolen on the bus

The actor is irrelevant:

e.g A new power plant will be built in the North. [We are not interested in who is building it.]

You want to be vague about who is to blame for a problem:

e.g Mistakes were made.

You are talking about a general truth:

e.g Rules should be obeyed.

If you want to practice the passive you may want to go to the following links:

TOEIC: either…or, neither…nor, both… and

Part 5 of the TOEIC test may test the use of the  following conjunctions:

either = one or the other 

e.g Would you like to finish now or later?

Either! (I don’t mind.)
Neither = not one and not the other

e.g Would you like banana cake or chocolate cake?
Neither! I don’t like sweets.

Either … or

‘Either … or’ is used in sentences in a positive sense meaning. Subject verb agreement (singular or plural) depends on the subject closest to the verb.


Either John or the girls need to be here early. (second subject plural)
Either Ann or Peter is going to visit next weekend. (second subject singular)

Neither … nor

‘Neither … nor’ is used in sentences in a negative meaning. Subject verb agreement (singular or plural) depends on the subject closest to the verb.


Neither John  nor Mary knows about this.. (second subject singular)
Neither Peter nor my other relatives know about this.  (second subject plural)

If you want to practice these further you may want to go to the following links: