Obligation and permission

Modal verbs are important for expressing obligation and permission in English.

Here is a summary of some common modal verbs and phrases that are used to express obligation and permission:

Modal Verb/PhraseMeaningExampleGrammar Pattern
needn’tno obligationYou needn’t come to the party if you don’t want to.need not + base verb
muststrong obligationI must finish this report by tomorrow.must + base verb
ought tostrong recommendation (very formal)You ought to apologize for your behavior.ought to + base verb
shouldadvice/suggestion/ weak obligationI should study for the exam.should + base verb
canpermissionCan I use your pen, please?can + base verb
be requirednecessaryA valid passport is required to enter the + required to + base verb
be not requirednot necessaryA tie is not required for the + not required to + base verb
be allowedpermissionYou are allowed to smoke in this + allowed to + base verb
be not allowedprohibitionYou are not allowed to smoke in this + not allowed to + base form
be supposed toexpectation/ weak obligationWe are supposed to arrive at 8:00 + supposed to + base verb
be not supposed tonot allowedYou are not supposed to use your phone in + not supposed to + base verb
it’s illegal toagainst the lawIt’s illegal to park’s illegal to + base verb
it’s against the lawagainst the lawIt’s against the law to’s against the law to + base verb
it’s politesocially acceptableIt’s polite to say “please” and “thank you”.it’s polite to + base verb
it’s impolitesocially unacceptableIt’s impolite to interrupt’s impolite to + base verb
it’s best toadvice/suggestion (positive)It’s best to arrive early for your’s best to + base verb
it’s best not toadvice/suggestion (negative)It’s best not to eat too much junk’s best not to + base verb

Grammar practice

Speaking practice

Writing practice

Write some advice for someone who wants to visit your country. Think of at least 5 rules and customs and write them down.


Tips and Tricks for Online Classes

Are you an English learner looking to improve your English skills online?

Look no further! Here I’ll share tips and tricks to help you succeed in your language-learning journey.

The following tips can help you maximize your online classes so you can achieve your learning goals and become better at speaking English.

1. Set a schedule and stick to it ⏰

Plan out your study time, and attend online classes on time. Consistency is key to learning a new language.

2 Practice regularly πŸ’ͺ

The more you practice, the more confident you will become in your language skills. Look for opportunities to practice during your class, such as actively participating in the breakout room activities.

3 Improve your listening skills πŸ‘‚πŸ”ˆ

Listen to your English teacher and classmates and try to guess the meaning of new words from context. Don’t use your translator to translate every single new word you hear. Try to listen to different accents and dialects to improve your comprehension.

4 Improve your reading skills πŸ‘€ πŸ“š

Read English language materials such as books, articles, and news stories to improve your reading comprehension and vocabulary.

5 Participate in class discussions πŸ—£οΈ

Don’t be afraid to speak up and participate in class discussions. This will help you to practice your speaking and listening skills and will also give you the chance to learn from your classmates.

6 Take notes πŸ“

Taking notes during online classes can help you remember important information and improve your writing skills.

7 Ask for feedback πŸ™‹

Ask your teacher for feedback on your language skills and areas that need improvement. Use this feedback to set goals and work on areas that need improvement.

8 Use online resources πŸ’»

Take advantage of online resources such as grammar websites, vocabulary lists, and language learning apps to supplement your class work and improve your language skills.

9 Connect with your classmates 🀝

Connect with your classmates outside of class to practice your language skills and build your confidence. You can creat a Whatsapp/ Telegram/ Facebook/ Wechat study group.

10 Be patient and persistent 🧘

Learning a new language takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and persistent in your efforts to improve your language skills.

πŸ’‘ Finally, learning a new language can be challenging, and it’s important to be kind to yourself during the process. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning, and it’s okay to not get everything right the first time.

πŸ† Instead of being hard on yourself, try to focus on the progress you’re making and the improvements you’re seeing in your language skills. Celebrate your successes and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.

πŸ—΅ Remember, everyone makes mistakes, even native speakers!

😊 By being kind to yourself and embracing your mistakes as opportunities for growth, you’ll be able to learn English with greater ease and confidence

Can you think of other tips to succeed in your online classes? Share your comments below ⬇️


Essential English Phrases for Phone Calls β˜ŽοΈ

Making phone calls in English can be intimidating. However, it is an essential skill to have, especially if you are living in an English-speaking country or working in an international setting.

In this article I will provide you with useful phrases for phone calls in English that will help you feel more confident and prepared.

Starting the Call

When starting a phone call, it is important to introduce yourself and ask to speak to the person you want to talk to. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Hello, my name is [your name]. Can I speak to [person’s name], please?”
  • “Hi, this is [your name]. May I please speak with [person’s name]?”
  • “Good morning/afternoon/evening, this is [your name] calling. Is [person’s name] available?”

Identifying Yourself

Sometimes, the person you are calling may not know who you are. In this case, it is helpful to identify yourself and give some context for the call. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Hi [person’s name], it’s [your name] from [company/school/etc.].”
  • “Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m calling because [reason for the call].”
  • “Good morning/afternoon/evening, this is [your name]. I’m calling in regards to [reason for the call].”

Asking for the Person You Want to Speak To

If the person you want to speak to is not available, you can ask when they will be back or if there is a better time to call back. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Is [person’s name] available? If not, when will they be back?”
  • “I’m sorry to hear that [person’s name] is not available. Could you please tell me when they will be back?”
  • “If [person’s name] is not available, is there a better time for me to call back?”

Leaving a Message

If the person you want to speak to is not available, you can ask if you can leave a message for them. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Could you please let [person’s name] know that I called? My name is [your name] and my phone number is [your phone number].”
  • “May I leave a message for [person’s name]? My name is [your name] and I’m calling from [company/school/etc.].”
  • “If [person’s name] is not available, could you please ask them to call me back? My name is [your name] and my phone number is [your phone number].”

Making Small Talk

Small talk is an important part of many phone conversations, especially in business settings. Here are some phrases you can use to initiate small talk:

  • “How has your day been so far?”
  • “Have you had a chance to enjoy the nice weather today?”
  • “Did you have a good weekend?”

Asking for Clarification

If you don’t understand something that the other person has said, it’s important to ask for clarification. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that. Could you repeat it, please?”
  • “Could you please speak more slowly?”
  • “I’m not sure I understood what you meant. Could you explain it again, please?”

Dealing with Difficult Situations

Sometimes, phone conversations can be difficult, especially if there is a problem that needs to be resolved. Here are some phrases you can use to navigate these situations:

  • “I understand your frustration. Let’s see what we can do to fix this.”
  • “I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Let me see what I can do to make it right.”
  • “I appreciate your feedback. Let me investigate and get back to you with a solution.”

Making Arrangements

If you need to make arrangements with the person you are speaking with, such as setting up a meeting or scheduling a call, here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Would it be possible to schedule a meeting for next week?”
  • “Could we arrange a time for a follow-up call?”
  • “Let’s coordinate a time that works for both of us.”

Ending the Call

When ending a phone call, it is polite to thank the person for their time and to say goodbye. Here are some phrases you can use:

  • “Thank you for your time. Have a great day!”
  • “Thanks for your help. Goodbye!”
  • “It was nice talking to you. Take care!”
  • “Thank you for your time today. It was great speaking with you.”
  • “I appreciate your help. Have a good day.”
  • “Thanks again for your assistance. Talk to you soon.”

Making phone calls in English may seem intimidating at first, but with practice and these useful phrases, you will become more comfortable and confident.

Remember to speak slowly and clearly, and don’t be afraid to ask the person you are speaking with to repeat themselves or to speak more slowly if you are having trouble understanding.

Good luck!


Speaking Practice

Are you someone who wants to improve your speaking skills in English but often find yourself struggling to start a conversation?

Well, you’re not alone. Many learners face difficulty initiating a conversation, especially when they are not confident in their language abilities. However, having a good speaking starter can make a huge difference in overcoming this hurdle.

In this blog, you will find some useful speaking starters that will help you confidently start a conversation and keep it going. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner, this speaking/ sharing starters will help you have fun and interesting conversations. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of speaking starters!

Click on the arrows < > to see the speaking starters.


have got

How to use have got

1. You can use have got instead of have to talk about possessions in the present.

For example:

I have a red car. = I have got a red car.

Do you have a red car? = Have you got a red car?

2. You can use have got to talk about family

For example:

I have two brothers. = I have got two brothers.

Do you have any brothers? = Have you got any brothers?

3. You can use have got to talk about sickness

For example:

I have a cold. = I have got a cold.

Do you have a stomachache? = Have you got a stomachache?

4. You can use have got to describe people.

For example:

She has long hair. = She has got long hair.

Does she have blue eyes? = Has she got blue eyes?

Important notes

  • have got is not used in the past. For past possessions we use had. (I had a dog when I was a child. Did you have any pets when you were a child?)
  • In North America have…/ Do you have…? is more common than I’ve got/ Have you got …? in spoken English.
Full formContractionNegative
I have gotI’ve gotI haven’t got
You have gotYou’ve gotYou haven’t got
He/She/It has gotHe/She/ It‘s gotHe/She/ It hasn’t got
We have gotWe’ve gotWe haven’t got
They have gotThey’ve gotThey haven’t got

(?) Question(+) Short answer(-) Short answer
Have I got …?Yes, I have.No, I haven’t.
Have you got…?Yes, you have.No, you haven’t.
Has he/ she/ it got…?Yes, he/ she/ it has.No, he/ she/ it hasn’t.
Have we got…?Yes, we have.No, we haven’t.
Have they got…?Yes, they have.No, they haven’t.

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: β­

Write (+), (-) or (?) sentences with the correct form of have got.

Flip the cards to see the correct answer.

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Complete the sentences with the right form of have got.

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Look at the pictures and tell your partner which things you have got and which things you haven’t got. Give your partner as many details as you can.

For example:

I’ve got a dog, but I haven’t got a cat. My friend gave me a puppy 5 years ago for my birthday. She’s a beautiful mutt dog. She’s got brown eyes and white fur.

Let’s sing!

This song is perfect to practice “have got”

Did you like this lesson? πŸ‘

Leave a comment below πŸ‘‡


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)

Learn more about

Direct questions

Subject questions

 Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: β­

 Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: β­β­

Change the direct question into an indirect one

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


Present Perfect vs. Present Perfect Continuous


We use the present perfect:

  1. to talk about past experiences when we don’t say when something happened (when the action was finished). Example: I’ve travelled to Brazil many times.
  2. with yet, already, ever, and never. Example: I’ve already finished my homework.
  3. with superlatives and the first, second, the last time, etc. Example: Canada is the most beautiful place I’ve visited.
  4. with non action verbs (= verbs not usually used in the continuous form, for example, be, have, know, like, understand, believe, etc) to say that something started in the past and is still true now. Example: I‘ve known my best friend since we were in high school.
  5. when we say or ask how much/many we have done or how often we have done something up to no (so far). Example: I’ve written 5 essays so far.

We use the present perfect continuous:

  1. with action verbs, to say that an action started in the past and is still happening now. Example: I’ve been writing this article for 2 hours.
  2. this use is common with time expression such as How long …?, for, since, all day/morning/afternoon/evening/ week, etc. Example: I’ve been studying all morning.
  3. for repeated actions especially with the time expression all day, recently. Example: She’s been cleaning her house all day.
  4. for continuous actions that have just finished (but that have present results). Example: I’ve been doing my homework.

Grammar Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐

Speaking Practice

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐

Student A -> Complete the question

Student B -> Answer the question

Flip the tile to check if your dialogue was correct

Repeat the dialogue and ask follow-up questions to get more details

Level of difficulty: ⭐⭐⭐

  1. Choose a picture (scroll the arrows <> to see the whole picture)
  2. Discuss the following questions with your partner. Give as many details as you can.
  • What has happened?
  • What have they been doing recently? Why?


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!