Student Opinion


Hi there!

If you are or have been my student, I’d really like to hear your opinion about this blog and your learning process in my classes.

✨ Please answer the following question in the Reply section:

What is your opinion about your classes with Teacher Julieta and the materials that she shares in this blog?


Indirect Questions


We use indirect questions when we want to ask a question in a more polite way.

Let’s compare direct questions and indirect questions:

  • In indirect questions, the word order is subject + verb.
  • We don’t use do/did in the second part of the question.
  • You can use if or whether in questions without a question word (yes/no questions)

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Change the direct question into an indirect one

Discuss the question with your group. Give as many details as possible


Useful Phrases for Presentations in English


Presentations are very common in academic and work settings, and they can be a bit challenging.

Here you can find some sentence starters that will help you organize your ideas to sound professional and fluent.

1 Greeting the Audience
  • Good morning/ good afternoon/ good evening everyone
  • Welcome to my presentation
  • If you don’t know me, my name is …
  • I work/ study in … department/ program/ lab
  • I’d like to thank you all for coming today
  • It’s a great pleasure to be here with you today
2 Introducing the topic
  • Today I’m going to talk about/ show you …
  • I’m here today to present…
  • What I want to talk about today is…
  • As you can see on the screen, our topic today is…
  • I’ve divided my presentation into three main parts
  • As you can see from the agenda/ outline I’ll be talking about…
  • Before we begin I want to point out that all the slides/ the proposal/ the final report will be sent to you by (day) at (time)
  • I’ll be handing out copies of the slides at the end of my presentation
  • I can email the PowerPoint presentation to anyone who would like it
  • I would like to start by (+ing verb) …
3 Connecting your ideas
  • First, I would like to talk about/ show you …
  • First, I’d like to give you an overview of….
  • Next, I’ll focus on… and then ….
  • What I am going to focus next is…
  • This leads directly to my next point
  • This brings us to the next point/question
  • Let’s now move on to/turn to…
  • Then I’ll go on to highlight what I see as the main points of….
  • Finally, I’d like to address the problem of…
4 Highlighting important information
  • One thing that I want to stress is…
  • I’d like to stress/highlight/emphasize the following points…
  • The interesting/significant/important thing about…. is….
5 Summarizing ideas
  • Before I move on, I’d like to recap the main points
  • Let me briefly summarize the main issues
  • I’d like to summarize what I’ve said so far…
6 Describing visuals
  • As you can see here, …
  • Now, let’s look at/let’s have a look at/take a look at/
  • As the graph/table shows/indicates…
  • From Table/ Figure … we can see/conclude/show/estimate/calculate/infer that…
  • The chart/ graph compares…
7 Closing
  • Well, this brings me to the end of my presentation/talk
  • That covers just about everything I wanted to say about…
  • Thank you for your attention
8 Questions and comments
  • If you have any questions, I am happy to answer them
  • Are there any questions?
  • If you have any questions, I’d be pleased to answer them.
  • And now I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have
9 If there are some technical problems
  • I’m sorry about the (tech/sound) problem. Ex. I’m sorry about the slow connection
  • Thanks for bearing with me = Thanks for your patience
  • It will be just one moment
  • I apologize for not having enough time/ handouts/ chairs/ samples

Clauses of Purpose


To, in order to , as to, for, and so that are words that help us talk about purposes or goals clearly and fluently.

Time to practice

The best way to improve your English is by practicing. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.


Clauses of Contrast


Although, though, even though, in spite of, and despite are words that help us connect contrasting ideas clearly and fluently. We use them to introduce a clause in a sentence which is in contrast to another clause in the same sentence.

You already know how to use basic connectors such as so and but. In the example below, but is a contrast connector.

Now, it’s time to learn other connectors that help us communicate more complex ideas.

NOTE: A dependent clause is NOT a full sentence. It is a phrase (group of words) that is incomplete, in other words, it is an incomplete thought. We need to complete the idea by using a connector and an independent clause.

An independent clause is a phrase that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.

Time to practice

The best way to improve your English is by practicing. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3


Reporting Verbs


Reporting verbs are verbs which are used to tell someone what another person said. They are used in reported speech.

Say and tell are the most common reporting verbs. However, there are other reporting verbs that we can use instead of say and tell to communicate our ideas more clearly.


He said that he would drive me to the airport (this sentence is correct but long)

We can say instead:

He offered to drive me to the airport (this sentence is shorter and absolutely clear)

Common reporting verbs patterns


recommend and suggest are special verbs that can be followed by a “that clause” when we want or need to mention who is the recommendation/ suggestion for.

recommend/ suggest + that + someone + base form


I suggested watching a horror movie. (suggest + gerund)

If you want to be more specific and want to add information about who is the recommendation for, you can use a “that clause” (noun clause)

I suggested that my friends watch a horror movie.

My friends suggested that I study for the English test tonight.

My teacher recommended that Maria practice speaking with me.

Practice time

Level of difficulty: ⭐

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Student A:

  1. Choose one box
  2. Read the sentence out loud.
  3. Tell your partner the hint.

Student B:

  1. Close your eyes
  2. Listen to your partner
  3. Complete the following sentence: My friend __________________


Student A: If you stay in a hostel it will be cheaper (Hint: explain)

Student B: My friend explained to me that staying in a hostel would be cheaper.


How to describe photos and pictures

for the B1 Cambridge test (PET)


In some English exams you have to speak or write about photos or pictures.

Here is a list of useful vocabulary and expressions for describing pictures or photos for oral/written exams.

What is there in the picture?
(people, things, animals, places, etc)
In the picture I can see
There is a/ an +(adjective)+ singular noun
There are (a couple/some/ a lot of) + (adjective) + plural noun
There isn’t a + (adjective) + singular noun
There aren’t any + (adjective) + plural noun
What is happening?
(actions & weather)
For actions use present continuous
The person/ animal is +verb-ing
The people are + verb-ing
It’s raining/ snowing, etc.
It’s bright/ dark/ sunny/ cold/ hot, etc.
What might be happening?
(If something in the picture is not clear you can make a guess)

It looks like a + noun
It looks as if + person/animal + verb …
It looks as though + persona/animal + verb …
It seems that person/animal is …
Maybe the person/animal is + verb-ing
The person/animal might be +verb-ing
What could have happened before?
(You can use your imagination and make a guess about the actions that happened before the picture was taken)
The person/animal might have + past participle
The person/animal may have + past participle
The person/animal could have + past participle
The person/animal couldn’t have + past participle
Where in the picture?
(location/ position)
At the top/bottom of the picture …
In the foreground …
In the background ….
In the middle/ center of the picture …
On the left/right of the picture …
next to
in front of
across from
on top of

Now that you know the vocabulary and phrases that should be included in picture description, let’s see an example:

I think this is a family photo. There are five people, all of them are smiling. They are having lunch in the dinning room. The dining room is so bright and modern. In the background we see the kitchen and some appliances. For example, a microwave and a coffee maker.

In the foreground
we see the mother sitting at the head of the table. It seems that she is taking a selfie. Her children are sitting around the table. On the left side of the photo there is a boy and a girl. The girl is smiling. The boy has his mouth open, and he looks as he is going to eat the whole spaghetti.

There are two teenagers sitting across from the children. The young man is smiling, and the young woman is posing for the photo. The young man has his arm around the young woman.

There are five plates with spaghetti, three glasses of orange juice, and two glasses of red wine on the table. There might be some bread in the middle of the table. The food looks very delicious.

They might be having a video call with the father. The father could have travelled for work to a different city. It looks as though they are having a good time. This photo reminds me when I was younger, and I used to have lunch with my family every Sunday.
Time to practice

The best way to improve your writing and speaking is to practice. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Remember that practice makes progress.

Choose ONE picture and describe it.

What can you see in the picture? Write your answer in the comments below


Past modal verbs


Modal verbs or modals are special words that give extra meaning to verbs. They go before the main verb.

Examples of modal verbs: can, will, should, must, may, might, have to, used to, etc.

Some past modals are used to express advisability, certainty, possibility/ impossibility in the past.

Practice time

Do you want to try a more challenging activity? Check this out! 👇
Speaking practice

What could have happened? Give some advice


The Position of Adverbs


Adverbs are words that describe an action (e.g. She speaks slowly) or modify adjectives (e.g. This car is incredibly expensive) or other adverbs (e.g. He works very hard). They can be one word (e.g. often) or a phrase (every now and then).

Common types of adverbs:

  1. Adverbs of manner describe how somebody does something.
  • They usually go after the verb or verb phrase
  • With passive verbs they usually go in mid-position
  • Examples: beautifully, slowly, happily, thoroughly, fast, quickly, cheaply, etc.

2. Adverbs of frequency tell us how often an action is performed.

  • They go before the main verb but after verb be
  • If there are two auxiliary verbs, the adverb goes after the first one
  • Some adverbs can be put at the beginning of the phrase or sentence for emphasis (sometimes, usually, and normally)
  • Examples: always, never, usually, sometimes, usually, normally, etc.

3. Adverbs of time and place tell us when and where an action is performed

  • Time adverbs usually go at the end of a sentence or clause
  • Place adverbs usually go before time adverbs
  • Examples: in the morning, at night, at the airport, in half an hour, here, there, etc.

4. Adverbs of degree describe how much something is done, or modify the adjective

  • Some adverbs of degree are used with adjectives and adverbs and they go before them (e.g. extremely, incredibly, very, a little, a little bit, etc.)
  • Some adverbs are often used with verbs and go before the verb or the verb phrase (e.g. a lot and much)

5. Comment adverbs give the speaker’s opinion about a particular topic.

  • They usually go at the beginning of a sentence or clause
  • Examples: luckily, basically, clearly, obviously, apparently, eventually, etc.

More examples:

Watch the following videos to find more examples and exercises

Practice time