Introduction to Phrasal Verbs


Phrasal verbs are two-word verbs. They include a verb and a particle. The particle can be a preposition or an adverb. Common particles are: up, down, back, out, on, off, or in.

When a verb and a particle are put together the resulting verb phrase has a complete different meaning.


I usually eat out on Sundays. (I usually eat in a restaurant on Sundays.)

My computer broke down suddenly. (My computer stopped working suddenly.)

Mike works out every day. (Mike does exercise every day.)

Phrasal verbs are divided into 2 big groups:

  • Intransitive phrasal verbs
  • Transitive phrasal verbs

Intransitive Phrasal Verbs

  1. Intransitive phrasal verbs DON’T need an object to complete their meaning.

Remember that the object is the person or the thing that receives the action of the verb. The object of the sentence is the answer to the question who or what the subject does something to.

Example of objects:

Susan opened the door.I will invite Tony to the cinema.
Subject: SusanSubject: I
Verb: invitedVerb: will invite
object: the door (what)object: Tony (who)

Examples of intransitive phrasal verbs:

Sit down, please

Can you stand up for a moment?

They will come back tomorrow.

2. The particle always comes immediately after the verb.


Can you stand for a moment up?

Can you stand up for a moment? ✅

We will go next weekend away.

We will go away next weekend. ✅

Transitive Phrasal Verbs

Transitive phrasal verbs need an object. Transitive phrasal verbs can be divided in 2 groups:

1 Separable phrasal verbs

Some phrasal verbs have an object and are separable. That means that you can put the particle before or after the object.


Take out your shoes before getting in the house.

Take your shoes out before getting in the house.

  • When the object is an object pronoun (me, you, him, her, us, them), the pronoun always goes between the verb and the particle

Take out them before getting in the house.

Take them out before getting in the house. ✅

2 Inseparable phrasal verbs

Some phrasal verbs have an object and are inseparable. That means that you cannot put the object between the verb and the particle.


Look your keys for.

Look for your keys.

My friend is friend is sick, so I offered to take her dog after.

My friend is sick, so I offered to take after her dog. ✅


Practice time

Label the phrasal verbs T (transitive) or I (intransitive) according to their use in the sentence. Circle the object

  1. She walked into the room and then ran out.
  2. Her plane takes off at 12 o’ clock.
  3. She broke down in tears.
  4. Write down my phone number.
  5. My mom throws it away.
  6. Is the manager setting up a new project?
  7. Can you turn the radio down? I’m doing my homework.
  8. She decided to give up smoking.
  9. She’ll call back later.
  10. I don’t get along well with my neighbors.


Online Class Etiquette

Globalization has changed the way we communicate with others. Nowadays, we can use the internet to attend classes or work meetings. Therefore, we should learn how to behave during our online classes and meetings.

Netiquette allows people to communicate with others over the internet in a polite and professional manner.

The word netiquette comes from the words network and etiquette. It is defined a set of rules that facilitates social interactions online.

Here there is a list of netiquette rules that you should keep in mind during your virtual sessions:

1 Be on time

It’s better to be at least 5 minutes early rather than late.

Punctuality is a good habit that builds self-confidence. Being on time also eliminates stress from your life by removing the anxiety of being late.

2 Come to class prepared

Have every thing that you need for your class ready, including your textbooks, notebooks, pens and other materials that you might need.

If you use an online dictionary, an app or PDFs open them before your class starts.

3 Settle into a quiet spot

Maybe you can study in a noisy place. However, most students can’t focus and pay attention to the class if the virtual classroom is noisy.

Stay on mute. Keeping your mic off lessens distractions. Background noise can be annoying and make it difficult to understand what people are saying.

Pro tip: If you are in a noisy place, use a noise-canceling headset to eliminate background noise. You can also activate a noise suppression filter. Most video call platforms such as Zoom, Teams, Skype, etc have the option to activate a noise suppression filter.

If the noise suppression filter is not enough you can use a noise cancelling software to remove noise.

Krisp is a FREE software that you can use with any communication app.

4 Turn your camera ON

Having your camera on creates a more personal class atmosphere.

When we communicate orally with other people we use our voice, body gestures and facial expressions. Camera use allows your teacher and your classmates understand you better. So they can sense how you feel and give you feedback to improve communication.

5 Participate and be helpful

Class participation is super important if you want to learn faster. Also, your classes will have more fun and you will feel more energetic if you participate during class. If you are a shy person or don’t know how to participate during your online classes, check the following article:

Practice Time
  1. How easy is for you to communicate with other people if you are in a noisy place?
  2. Which do you prefer, taking classes in person or online? Why?
  3. Do you prefer just speaking with people on the phone/Whatsapp? or Do you prefer having a video call? Why?
Online Class Etiquette


How to Express your Opinion in English


Imagine that you are in a meeting where an important discussion is going on and suddenly your manager calls you out and says “What’s your opinion about this topic?

You start feeling nervous and you can’t say anything. You have a lot of great ideas but you don’t know how to express them.

It is common that when we have to share our opinion we feel insecure and nervous. The fear to speak up can be ever worse if we have to speak in a different language. Fear often prevents us to share our opinions with our classmates, colleagues, managers, and other English speakers.

It’s time you learned useful phrases that will make you feel confident enough to speak up. This in turn will allow you to grow professionally, academically and personally.

In this post I share useful phrases that you can use in your next class or meeting.


I (don’t) think…I (don’t) really think …As far as I know,…
I (don’t ) believe …I strongly believe that …As far as I’m concerned, …
I (don’t) feel …There’s no doubt that …It seems to me that …
In my opinion/ view …I honestly think that ….I might be wrong but …
The way I see it …I’m convinced that…You probably won’t agree, but …


What’s your opinion?

What do you think?

How do you feel about …?

How do you see the situation?

What’s your view?



I agree.I disagree.Really?
I think so too.I don’t think so.+ That’s a great suggestion
– That doesn’t make any sense
I couldn’t agree more.I’m not quite sure.I’m not very familiar with the topic.
You might be right.That’s not true.Know what I think?
I couldn’t have said it better.I totally disagree.I see what you mean.

Practice time

What do you think about this blog?

What topics would you like to be discussed in this blog?

Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings

How to Participate in an Online Class

Asking for Clarification

Assertive Communication for English Learners


How to Participate in an Online Class

Class participation is important if you want to learn faster. Participating in class will allow you to use your English like you would do in the real world. When you participate you are practicing and the more you practice using the language, the faster you will improve it.

Your classes will be more fun if you participate actively and communicate with your classmates and your teacher. Nobody wants to be in a classroom where nobody speaks. It is normal to feel nervous when you have to participate or ask a question. But after you participate you will feel more energetic and alert. That in turn will help you remember what you learn and feel more confident.

Here I’m going to share with you different ways of participating during your online classes:

1. Be proactive and thoughtful
  • Turn ON your camera and keep it on during the whole class.
  • Turn ON your microphone when you participate.
  • Turn OFF your microphone when other people participate.
  • Use the chat box to ask questions or communicate with your teacher and classmates during the class.
  • Join the breakout rooms and participate in the group activities.
  • Offer to share your screen
2. Ask questions

If you have a question or if you are confused you can ask for help to your teacher or your classmates. Here there are some sentence starters that you can use during your class.

Here you have a list of useful phrases that you can use during your English classes:

  • I have a question about _________________.
  • I’m confused about _____________________.
  • I need help with _______________________.
  • I have difficulties understanding __________________.
  • I would like to know more about ___________________.
  • Can you give me an example?
  • What’s the difference between ________ and __________?.
  • What is the answer to question/ exercise ______?
  • What does _______________ mean?
  • How do you pronounce this word?
  • How do you spell _________?
  • How did you get the answer?
  • Can you repeat the last part that you just said?
3. Offer your help

If you want to help your classmates or if you know the answer you can use the following sentence starters:

  • I might know the answer to that.
  • I think I can help you with ________.
  • I’m not sure, but I think the answer is _____________.
4. Volunteer

If you want to volunteer or start the activity

  • Can I go first?
  • I’ll go first.
  • I can do it
  • Who’s next?
5. Share your gratitude
  • Thanks for helping me understand __________.
  • I appreciate your help.
  • I really liked that activity.
  • It was a really fun/ interesting activity.
  • I liked that!

Practice Time

It’s your time to participate!

How important is class participation for you? How do you feel when your classmates refuse to participate in class?


Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings

Asking for help

Useful English Phrases for Better Communication (Asking for Clarification)


Useful English Phrases to Ask for Help

Asking for help is an important skill that we need to develop in order to communicate effectively with our classmates and colleagues.

Note: In English “a hand” sometimes means “help

to lend someone a hand = to help someone

Example: I was very busy with the clients, so John lent me a hand with the final report.

As you can see, in English there are different ways of asking for help. Here there is a list of useful English phrases that you can use instead of saying:

Help me, please.

  1. Could you help me, please?
Listen and Repeat

/kudju help mee pleez/

2. Could you lend me a hand?

Listen and Repeat

/kudju lenmee uh hand/

3. Would you mind lending me a hand?

Listen and Repeat

/wudju mind lenduhng mee uh hand/

4. Can I ask a favor?

Listen and Repeat

/kuhnai askuh fAyvr/

5. Can you do me a favor?

Listen and Repeat

/kuhnju doo mee uh fAyvr

6. I have a favor to ask.

Listen and Repeat

/ai havuh fAyvr tuhask/

7. I need a big favor.

Listen and Repeat

/ai needuh big fAyvr/

8. Do you have a minute?

Listen and Repeat

/duju havuh minut/

9. Could you help me _________ ? (verb in the base form)

Listen and Repeat

/kuhdju help mee ______ /

10. Could you ________ for me? (verb in the base form)

Listen and Repeat

/kuhdju _______ for mee/

Practice Time

Read each of the phrases and record yourself. Listen to your voice.

  1. For you, what sounds are difficult to pronounce?
  2. How many times can you say each of the sentences without making a mistake?

Share your answers in the comments below.


Useful English Phrases for Better Communication

If you don’t understand what other people say, it’s a good idea to ask for clarification instead of saying:

“I don’t understand” or “Sorry, my English is very bad”

Here there is a list of useful expressions for asking for clarification. These expressions will help you speak fluently and communicate better with your classmates or colleagues. It’s important that you learn how to pronounce each of the phrases correctly. There is an audio below each phrase so you can check the pronunciation that will help you learn them easily.

  1. Pardon me?
Listen and Repeat

2. Excuse me. Could you repeat that, please?

Listen and Repeat

3. Could you say that again?

Listen and Repeat

4. I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you properly.

Listen and Repeat

5. I’m sorry, I missed that.

Listen and Repeat

6. I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.

Listen and Repeat

7. What do you mean?

Listen and Repeat

8. What does _________ mean?

Listen and Repeat

9. Could you give an example?

Listen and Repeat

10. Did you say ________? (say the word you heard)

Listen and Repeat

Practice Time

Read each of the sentences out load and record yourself using your cellphone or your computer. Listen to your voice.

  1. For you, what sounds/ words are difficult to pronounce?
  2. For you, what is the easiest phrase? How many times can you say it without making a mistake?

Share your answers in the comments below.


Essential Vocabulary for Online Meetings

Useful English Phrases to Ask for Help


Question Formation Common mistakes -Be…? Do…? Have…?

Do have difficulties forming questions in English?

I know! Question forms are tricky. Sometimes we need to invert the subject and the verb, other times we need to add an auxiliary verb, and other times we need to invert the subject and the auxiliary.

Here there is a list of the most common English mistakes made by English learners. This list will help you avoid the typical mistakes so you can start speaking more confidently and fluently.

1. Using an auxiliary verb when you don’t need it

Do you are happy?

Are you happy?

Did you be at home last night?

Were you home last night?

Did your brother was hungry?

Was your brother hungry?

Verb be is a very important verb. If verb be is you main verb you don’t need to add an auxiliary verb

Do/Does/Did + verb be NEVER go together

2. NOT using a verb+ing after verb be

Are you study English now?

Are you studying English now?

Is he live in Canada now?

Is he living in Canada now?

Is she lived in England last year?

Was she living in England last year?

Verb be + verbing for present continuous and past continuous

3. NOT using a verb in the base form after do/does/did

Do you playing soccer twice a week?

Do you play soccer twice a week?

Does she usually going to the movies on Fridays?

Does she usually go to the movies on Fridays?

Did she studied English last night?

Did she study last night?

Do/Does/Did + verb in the base form

4. Using the main verb as the auxiliary

Have you a car?

Do you have a car?

Have you any siblings?

Do you have any siblings?

Did you yoga yesterday?

Did you do yoga every day?

Do and have can be both main verbs and auxiliary verbs. Make sure your question has a main or action verb.

5. NOT Using a verb

Do you happy?

Are you happy?

Do you from Australia?

Are you from Australia?

Did you hungry yesterday?

Were you hungry yesterday?

Do you in Canada?

Do you live in Canada?

6. NOT using past participle after have/has

Have you ate Japanese food?

Have you eaten Japanese food?

Has he do his homework yet?

Has he done his homework yet?

Have they work in an office?

Have they worked in an office?

Have/Has + past participle (p.p. or 3rd form)


Questions: Be…? Do…? Have…?


Wanna sound like a native?

My apologies

There are several questions that come to my mind every time that I see ads, videos, and comments that promote nativespeakerism. I’m an advocate of critical thinking and I’m against nativespekerim and any form of discrimination.

Today I’ll start a thread of thought provoking posts with a public apology.

My dear English students,

I would encourage you to start questioning the ads of teachers and influencers who make you feel inferior, broken, unworthy, incapable and unintelligent just because of your English level or your accent.

You are capable of achieving great things. Don’t let anyone decide what you should say and how you should sound.

If I ever made you feel like that, I want to take this moment to apologize. If you have ever been humiliated or mistreated by an English or any other language teacher, I just want to say: ‘Forgive us. I’m deeply sorry for the pain you had to endure’

Don’t let anyone stop you becoming the best version of yourself.

I hope you achieve all your goals. I encourage you to speak like you and let others hear your voice.

With much love,


P.S. You are worthy.

Do you think that speaking like a native is better than speaking normal English?/ Why? Why not?


The Tongue Twister Challenge (Intensity level 2)

Workout for your English muscles

A great way to improve your pronunciation and fluency is by saying tongue twisters as fast as you can. Tongue twisters are great to exercise your English muscles. Are you ready to complete this fun challenge?

Have you completed the Tongue Twister Intensity level 1? If not, click the button below.

If you are an intermediate/ pre-advanced student, you can use Intensity Level 1 as your warm up.

Let’s warm up

Say each of the following tongue twisters five times as fast as you can. If you are not sure about the correct pronunciation you can play the audio first and repeat after me. Then you can say the tongue twister slowly and when you feel confident about your pronunciation you increase the speed.

  1. Six sticky skeletons

2. Flash message

3. Black back bat

Let’s increase the intensity

Say each of the following tongue twisters five times as fast as you can

4. Eleven benevolent elephants

5. Good blood, bad blood 

6. Truly rural

7. Red lorry, yellow lorry

8. A big black bug snoozed on a big black rug

DOWNLOAD the worksheet with audio to practice anytime, anywhere.

Try out this tongue twisters and let me know how it went. Which was the most difficult one? Leave your answers in the comments below.

Happy practice!