In the Name of Allah           



+ نوشته شده در  دوشنبه بیست و سوم تیر ۱۳۹۳ساعت 11:8 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

English Vocabulary Words for Car Accidents 92-20

Have you ever been in a car accident? In today’s lesson, you’re going to learn expressions for describing different types of accidents, their causes, and results.

Let’s begin with the difference between a car accident and a car crash. Car accident is the most general term – it can describe any type of accident, major or minor, and it can involve only one car or two or more cars.

A car crash involves a collision – when a car hits an object with a violent impact. We can also use “crash” as a verb – for example, the car crashed into a tree, or the car crashed into a telephone pole.

Here are four specific types of accidents:

  • When two vehicles crash into each other while traveling in opposite directions, we call this a head-on collision. This is one of the deadliest types of accidents.


  • On the other end of the spectrum is a fender-bender. This describes a small accident with very minor damage to the cars involved.
  • When multiple cars hit each other, this is called a pile-up. Pile-ups often occur when the weather and road conditions are bad.
  • Sometimes a car hits a person, but instead of stopping, the driver of the car drives away. This type of accident is called a hit and run.

Now we’ll look at four descriptions of accidents, and learn the verbs used for talking about them.

#1 – I slammed on the brakes to avoid running over a dog.

To slam on the brakes means to try to stop the car very suddenly, often in an emergency. In this case, the driver wanted to avoid running over a dog – the phrasal verb run over is used when a car passes over an object, animal, or person.

#2 – The taxi sideswiped a parked car and then rear-ended a van.

Sideswiped means the taxi hit the side of the parked car while passing it. Rear-ended means the taxi hit the back of the van.

#3 – The driver lost control of the car and plowed into the guardrail.

Inexperienced drivers can lose control of the car, especially when driving at high speeds, at night, or in bad weather. The phrasal verb plowed into is an alternative way to say crashed into.

#4 – Lots of cars were skidding on the icy road, and I saw one that had rolled over.

The verb skid means to slide without control on a slippery surface like ice. If a car rolls over, that means it turns upside down.

Factors causing car accidents

Car accidents can be caused by a number of factors. Here are some of the most common.

  • speeding – driving faster than the speed limit
  • tailgating – this is when one car drives extremely close behind another car. It’s dangerous because if the first car stops suddenly, the second car will not have time to stop.
  • drunk driving – driving under the influence of alcohol. To test for the level of alcohol in a driver’s blood, police use a breathalyzer test.
  • weather conditions – rain, snow, and ice can make the road slick or slippery. There can also be poor visibility (difficulty to see) due to fog or darkness
  • reckless driving – the word reckless means “not careful” – so “reckless driving” means driving dangerously, not carefully – for example, people who change lanes without using the turn signal, or who drive impatiently and without careful observation or consideration
  • road rage – when a driver gets angry at another driver, and begins driving aggressively
  • distractions – when the driver is paying attention to other things – for example, their cell phone – and not watching the road.

Results of car accidents

Finally, let’s look at the results of an accident.

We can say the car is damaged and the people in the cars are injured or killed. A more formal word for someone killed in an accident is a fatality – for example, “there were three fatalities” or “luckily, there were no fatalities.”

One common injury in car accidents is whiplash – an injury to the neck due to the sudden impact; when your head goes forward or backwards very suddenly. If someone in the car wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, they could be thrown from the vehicle – this means they flew out of the vehicle and landed some distance away.

When a car is badly damaged so that it can’t be driven, then it needs to be towed – transported by another vehicle, which is called a tow truck. (Your car can also be towed if you park in a prohibited area).

Finally, if the occupants of the car were shaken but unhurt, it means that they were emotionally agitated (shaken), but they had no injuries (unhurt).



+ نوشته شده در  سه شنبه یکم اردیبهشت ۱۳۹۴ساعت 15:45 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

An Instructional News Website 93-2

I have already talked a lot about the importance of reading comprehension and how it helps language learners improve their language learning,therefore,I am not ging to argue about importance of reading here.

Newsela.com is an exellent news websit especially created tor language learners with different language ability.This website provides(give)learners the option of having the news article at their level.At the right-hand corner of the webpage there is a blue bar with 5 numbers which refers to different versions of the same article.By ging up the bar the level of the aricle gets more dificult and by ging don the bar the level of the news aricle gets easier.

To use this website,you need to sign up as a student.If you sign up as a student you will be asked for a sign up code which for my students is BQE8KY. Please make sure you type in the code in capital letters.

I hope you enjoy reading news on this website and please let me know if you have any problems signing up or using the websit.  

+ نوشته شده در  سه شنبه چهاردهم بهمن ۱۳۹۳ساعت 13:37 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Private Classes 93-1

Sometimes regular classes can not be useful for all  English learners having different needs,therefore,currently I am offering various types of one-on-one classes to meet learners' needs.The following is the list of my private classes:

1-LELTS preparation class which aims to prepare  students for this international test.

2-TOEFL iBT preparation class which prepares students for TOEFL iBT exam.

3-Conversation class which helps learners to improve their general English in terms of speaking,reading,listening and writing.

4-Specific English class which is designed for learners with special needs such as Business  English ,Travel English,etc.

5-Speaking class which focuses on improving learners Speaking skill.This class can be espcially useful for leaners having good knowledge of grammar and vocaulary but are not very good at speaking.

6-  Writing calss which helps the learner master theh writing skill to satisfy their needs .

Please leave a comment or email me at loakbari@gmail.com for more information.

+ نوشته شده در  دوشنبه ششم بهمن ۱۳۹۳ساعت 20:3 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

English Collocations for Success and Failure 92-18

Successful Samantha has a long list of impressive accomplishments. It seems like everything she does ends up being a phenomenal success. In her very first job, she created a highly effective way to motivate the company’s employees, resulting in a dramatic improvement in workplace morale.

Now she’s developing a system for real-time translation among 100 different languages. If she can pull it off, it’ll be an unprecedented success (success in something for the first time in history) and the crowning achievement (best or most significant achievement) of her career.

So far, the program has enjoyed modest success (some limited success)but there is still room for improvement (potential for improvement).However, Samantha says that the team is making good progress, and that in the next month or two she hopes to make a breakthrough (make a sudden advance in success, especially when you overcome an obstacle).

Although Samantha is very ambitious, she’s also a very likeable person. She brings out the best in other people, and quickly wins the respect of colleagues.

Samantha’s brother, Disastrous Dan, is the opposite – everything he attempts seems to fail miserably. He wanted to be a doctor, but his teachers told him he wasn’t smart enough, dashing his hopes (making him abandon hope) of a career in medicine. He had the opportunity to do a prestigious internship in another country, but he lost his nerve (lost his courage) and turned down the offer.

He then applied for various jobs, but completely failed to show up to the interviews on time. He was eventually hired, but later lost his job during an economic downturn due to his mediocre performance (average work, not very special) and total lack of remarkable achievements.

Dan then tried to start his own software company to compete with Samantha’s; that was a spectacular failure. He invested his life savings in the business, despite all his friends telling him that it would be a recipe for disaster (very likely to result in disaster). His sales predictions were way off the mark (completely inaccurate), and the company went under (lost all its money and shut down) just eight months after it was founded.

Poor Dan – it seems like he’s doomed to failure (destined to be unsuccessful). But if all else fails (if everything is unsuccessful), he can always move into Samantha’s mansion as a last resort (a final possibility)!



+ نوشته شده در  جمعه بیست و پنجم مهر ۱۳۹۳ساعت 10:0 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

How to Disagree Politely in English 92-17

In spoken English, just saying “I disagree” is often too direct. Most English speakers use phrases that are modified to be more polite, or indirect methods to express disagreement. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to disagree without offending anyone!

Expressions for Polite Disagreement

I’m afraid I disagree.

We’ll need to buy at least 10 new machines this year in order to keep up with the increased production.”

“I’m afraid I disagree. If we focus on improving the efficiency of the equipment we already have, we could avoid making new purchases.”

I beg to differ.

“Books are a thing of the past. The future is in online publications.”

“I beg to differ – a lot of people still prefer to have a book in their hands rather than read on a screen.”

I’m not so sure about that.

“China will definitely be the dominant world power over the next century.”

“I’m not so sure about that. I just don’t think their current level of growth is sustainable.”

Not necessarily.

“If everyone took shorter showers, the world’s water shortage problems would be solved.”

“Not necessarily. Far more water is used in the production of food, for example, than for taking showers.”

I don’t see it that way.

“Globalization is just another way for rich countries to exploit poor countries.”

“I don’t see it that way. I think it’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and in fact a lot of developing countries have benefited quite a bit.”

I’m sorry, but I don’t agree.

“I think we should completely change the packaging of our product – it really needs a more modern look.”

“I’m sorry, but I don’t agree. If we change our product’s appearance, our current customers won’t recognize it anymore.”

Yes, but…

“This backpack is only $9 – what a bargain!”

“Yes, but it doesn’t look like it’s made of very strong material.”

Indirect Disagreement

One way to disagree indirectly is simply to say your own opinion. It’s common to use the words well and actually, which signal that you are going to express a contrasting opinion.

Well, in my opinion…

“Studying English grammar is the key to speaking correctly.”

“Well, in my opinion, it’s more important to practice listening.”

Actually, I think…

“Maradona was the best soccer player of the past century.”

“Actually, I think Pele was better.”

Informal Expressions for Disagreeing

Note: Use these only among close friends, because they could be offensive in a professional context.

No way!

Titanic was Leonardo DiCaprio’s best film.”

“No way! Inception was so much better.”

You can’t be serious.

“I think we should buy a new car.”

“You can’t be serious. We can’t afford that right now.”

+ نوشته شده در  جمعه یازدهم بهمن ۱۳۹۲ساعت 1:5 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Bad English? 92-16

There are two phrases I hear many students say:

“My English is terrible.”

“Sorry for my bad English.”

Be careful, because these two phrases are dangerous to your English learning!


If you constantly describe your English as “bad” or “terrible,” or if you say things like “I can’t speak English very well” – you will eventually begin to believe that it is true. These negative thoughts will make you less confident, and your progress in English fluency will be slower. You might even give up completely, because you believe you can’t do it.

The people who are most successful in achieving goals are those who believe they CAN do it and who make the goal part of their identity. Even if your English is not perfect, tell yourself:

“I am an English speaker. I am learning to be fluent, and I am making good progress!”

Phrases to describe your English

So how can you say that you’re an English learner without using words like “bad” or “terrible”?

Here are some useful phrases:

Don’t say: “My English is terrible.”

Say: “I’m working on improving my English.”

The focus of the second sentence is positive (“improving”) and it shows that you’re actively working on making your English better.

Don’t say: “Sorry for my bad English”

Say: “English isn’t my first language, so please excuse any mistakes.”

The second sentence explains that you’re not a native speaker and requests patience and understanding – without using the word “bad” to describe your English.

Don’t say: “I don’t understand.”

Say: “Could you repeat that, please?”
“Could you rephrase that, please?”
“Could you speak a little slower so that I can understand you better?”

Asking the other person to repeat means you want them to say it again using the same words.

Asking the other person to rephrase means you want them to say it again using different words.

The last sentence asks the person to speak slower, but still focuses on the positive (“understand you better“) and not the negative (“I don’t / can’t understand”).

If the other person doesn’t understand you…

If you say something and the other person looks confused, don’t worry – maybe that they didn’t hear you, or they weren’t paying attention. It’s also possible that they’re not yet accustomed to your accent.

To check understanding, you can ask:

“Does that make sense?”

If the other person says no, then say:

“Let me try again.”

or: “Let me clarify.”

Then say your sentence again. You can try:

  • repeating it using the same words
  • rephrasing it using different words
  • speaking slower and being careful with the pronunciation

Extra Tip: Keep an English Success Journal

There’s so much to learn in the English language that most people focus on their difficulties and think about all the things they don’t know yet. However, you can change your perspective and learn to think more positively by keeping an English success journal.

Every time you make progress or have some small “victory” in your English learning, write it down in a notebook (or in a document on your computer or cell phone).

For example:

  • Today I learned 3 new words and used them in sentences
  • Today I understood how to use the present perfect
  • Today I practiced listening for 15 minutes
  • Today I remembered a word without using the dictionary
  • Today I understood some of the phrases in a song or movie
  • Today I successfully made a phone call in English

These things can be big or small – the important part is that they show progress and improvement.

On days when you’re feeling depressed about your English, or when you don’t have much motivation, you can read your success journal to see all the wonderful progress you’ve made. This will help increase your confidence and encourage you to keep going!

What do you think?

+ نوشته شده در  چهارشنبه نهم بهمن ۱۳۹۲ساعت 12:28 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

English prepositions after the verb THINK 92-15

Think about / Think of

The two most common prepositions used after the verb “think” are “about” and “of.” They are very similar, but there is a small difference. Usually when you “think of something,” it is a brief moment – just a few seconds. It is also used for opinions. When you “think about something” you are considering it for a longer time – like a few minutes or more.

Every time I hear this song, I think of my mother. (thinking for a few seconds)

What do you think of my new haircut? (opinion)

I’m thinking about moving to a different city. (considering)

I still get angry when I think about all the rude things my sister said to me. (thinking for a few minutes or more)

Common error: Don’t use “think to” for “considering.”

  • I’m thinking to do an intensive English course in Canada.
  • I’m thinking about doing an intensive English course in Canada.

Think over / Think through

Use the prepositions “over” and “through” when you need to consider a topic carefully or think about it for a longer time (hours, days, or weeks).

  • I’m not sure which course I want to take. Let me think it over for a while.
  • I’ll need some time to think through your proposal. Can I call you back next week?

Think ahead / Think back

The preposition “ahead” is used for thinking about the future:

  • We need to think ahead at least five years if we want our company to have long-term success.

The preposition “back” is used for thinking about the past:

  • I like to think back on my college years; that was a great time in my life.

Think up

“Think up” is an expression that means to imagine, invent, or create an idea.

  • We need to think up a way to distract Laura while we plan her surprise party.
  • I spent half an hour trying to think up a good excuse for why I was late to work.
  • Let’s think up some new strategies for increasing sales.

Think to

“Think to” is most frequently used with “myself” – when you think about something, but you don’t say it or share it with any other person. “Think to myself” is often followed by a direct statement of the thought.

  • Whenever I’m in a meeting at work, I think to myself, “This is a huge waste of time.”

“Didn’t think to” can also be used when something did not even enter your mind.

  • Sorry I didn’t see your message – I didn’t think to check my e-mail before I left the house.
  • I’m annoyed because all my friends went to the movies and didn’t think to invite me.

+ نوشته شده در  شنبه پنجم بهمن ۱۳۹۲ساعت 1:55 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

House or Home 92-14

what is  the difference between house and home? A house is a specific type of building. A house is a physical thing, but the word home is more of an emotional idea – it means the place where you live, and where you have a special emotional attachment – where you feel comfortable, safe, and happy. Your “home” can be a house, an apartment, or another type of structure.

In English, we often use the word “house” when talking about the building itself (for example, “I live in a small house”), and “home” with the verb “go” and the preposition “at.” For example, you can say, “I was at home last night” – or when you leave work, you can say, “Bye everyone. I’m going home.”

+ نوشته شده در  سه شنبه یکم بهمن ۱۳۹۲ساعت 14:9 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Past Modals: Should Have, Could Have, Would Have 92-13

Should have, could have, and would have are sometimes called “modals of lost opportunity” because they describe situations when we are imagining that the past was different.

The general rule of Should, Could, and Would is:

  • Should for recommendation / advice
    “If you want to lose weight, you should eat healthy food.”
  • Could for possibilities “I have the day off tomorrow.” “Great! We could spend the day at the beach. Or we could go shopping.”
  • Would for imagining results “If I were rich, I would buy a boat.”

The same general rule applies when using should have, could have, and would have for imaginary past situations.

Should Have

Use should have to say that a different action was recommended in the past.

If you arrive late to English class, you can say:

“I should have left my house earlier.”

If you regret an argument, you can say:

“I shouldn’t have yelled at you yesterday. I’m sorry.”

You can also use should have / shouldn’t have to tell other people that a different action in the past would have been better. If your son fails a test, you can say:

“You should have studied. You shouldn’t have played video games all weekend.”

Could Have

Use could have to talk about possibilities if something had been different in the past.

For example, someone who didn’t go to college can say:

“If I had gone to college, I could have gotten a better job.”

When talking about a gymnast who didn’t win a competition, you can say:

“She could have won the gold medal if she hadn’t fallen three times.”

Could have is often used with “if + had + past participle” (If I had gone / if she hadn’t fallen) – these “if” phrases express the imaginary past situation. However, in some cases you can use could have without the “if” phrase. Imagine you’re driving with a person who makes a dangerous maneuver on the road. You can say:

“Are you crazy? We could have gotten into an accident.”

Would Have

Use would have to imagine a result (if something had been different in the past):

If you arrive late at the airport and miss your flight, you can say:

“If we had arrived earlier, we would have caught our flight.”

If you forget your umbrella, and it starts to rain, and you get wet, you can say:

“If I had brought my umbrella, I wouldn’t have gotten wet in the rain.”

Would have expresses more certainty about the result than could have:

“If I had worked harder, I could have gotten a promotion.” (maybe I’d get a promotion… but maybe not)

On a test where you need 70% to pass:
“I got a 68 on the test. If I had gotten two more points, I would have passed.”
(with the two points, passing the test is CERTAIN)

+ نوشته شده در  جمعه بیست و هفتم دی ۱۳۹۲ساعت 23:56 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Difference between SHOULD, COULD, and WOULD 92-12

The difference between should, could, and would is difficult for many English learners – this lesson will help you understand when to use each one!

Use SHOULD and SHOULDN’T for advice

Here are some examples of using should and shouldn’t to ask for and give advice and suggestions:

“I’ve had a really bad headache for the past week.”
“That’s not good – you should go to the doctor.”

“I want to make more friends, but I don’t know how.”
“First of all, you shouldn’t spend so much time on the computer. You should go out and join a club or start playing a sport instead!”

“I had a fight with my best friend. What should I do?”
“Hmm… I think you should call her and tell her you’re sorry.”

Use COULD and COULDN’T for ability in the past

Could and couldn’t are the past forms of can and can’t:

When I was younger, I could run a mile in 7 minutes. Now it takes me 20 minutes!

Yesterday, I couldn’t find my wallet anywhere – but this morning I found it.

Last year, he couldn’t speak English very well, but now he can.

Use COULD for possibilities in the future

Here’s an example of could to talk about future possibilities:

“Do you have any ideas for our publicity campaign?”

“Yes, I’ve got a few ideas. I could put advertisements on Facebook and Google. We could also give out pamphlets in our neighborhood. Maybe John could even contact local TV stations.”

Use COULD to make polite requests

  • Could you please open the window? It’s hot in here.
  • Could you turn the music down? Thanks.
  • Could you make 10 copies of this report, please?

Use WOULD to talk about unreal or unlikely situations

  • If I were the president of my company, I would make a lot of changes.
  • If people were more generous, there wouldn’t be so much poverty in the world today.
  • She would travel around the world if she had more vacation time.

Note: In this case, would is often shortened to ‘d

  • If I were the president of my company, I’d make a lot of changes.

Use WOULD YOU LIKE to make polite offers

Here are some examples of using would you like…? to make polite offers:

Would you like anything to drink?”
“A soda would be great. Thanks!”

Would you like to join us for dinner?”
“I’d love to, but I actually have other plans tonight.”

Would you like to see some pictures from my vacation?”

Don’t use “to” after should, could, and would:

You shouldn’t to smoke.
You shouldn’t smoke.

We could to order pizza tonight.
We could order pizza tonight.

I would to buy a new car if I had the money.
I would buy a new car if I had the money.

+ نوشته شده در  سه شنبه بیست و چهارم دی ۱۳۹۲ساعت 23:42 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

92-11 English Words for Describing a Person’s Appearance

In this lesson you’re going to expand your vocabulary with 37 words to describe a person’s appearance.

Let’s begin with the word beautiful – in English, this word is mostly used for women. We use the word handsome for men. To describe beautiful women, we also have the words pretty, lovely, gorgeous, and stunning – “stunning” means extremely beautiful, like a woman who is so beautiful that she attracts a lot of attention!

Another expression to describe a woman like this is to say that “She turns heads” – implying that when she walks down the street, people turn their heads to focus their attention on her.

The words attractive, good-looking, cute, and hot can be used for both men and women. Cute is a more playful word to say a person is attractive; we often use “cute” for children and baby animals. And the word hot is a slang word that you should only use during informal conversations among friends.

The opposite of beautiful or handsome is ugly – but that’s a strong word, so most people express this idea using the negative form of one of the positive words, for example: “She’s not very attractive” or “He’s not so good-looking.”

Finally, there is the word plain – that describes a person who is ordinary-looking – not especially beautiful/handsome, but not especially ugly either.

English Words for “Fat”

Okay, now let’s learn some words to describe body shape and size. You already know the basic words fat and thin – but there are many other ways to say these.

A person who is fat can also be described as overweight, heavy, big, or large. The word for a person who is EXTREMELY fat is obese.

We also have the word chubby to describe fat children; husky or heavyset to describe fat men; and plump or curvy to describe fat women (the word curvy has a more positive connotation, implying that the woman has a nice, full, feminine body).

If you want to say a specific part of the body is fat, you can say it is flabby – for example, “I hate my flabby stomach.” (typically used for arms, stomach,and thighs).

English Words for “Thin”

The opposite of fat is thin. Some alternative words are slim, slender, skinny, lean, wiry, petite, and lanky. In general, thin, slim, and slender are more positive, whereas skinny is often used as a criticism or negative point.

The words lean and wiry mean that the person is thin AND muscular. The word petite is only used for women, and means that the woman is short AND thin. Finally, the word lanky means tall and thin.

English Words for “Muscular”

What about a person with an athletic body? You can describe him or her as muscular, fit, strong,  in good shape, or “ripped” – that’s a slang word meaning that the person has very well-defined and visible muscles .

+ نوشته شده در  یکشنبه پانزدهم دی ۱۳۹۲ساعت 0:52 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Extreme Adjectives in English 92-10

What are Extreme Adjectives?

Adjectives are words that describe the qualities of something. Some adjectives in English are gradable - that means you can have different degrees or levels of that quality. For example, the weather can be a little cold, rather cold, very cold, or extremely cold.

Extreme adjectives or non-gradable adjectives are words that mean “extremely + adjective” – for example, “freezing” means “extremely cold.” The weather can’t be “a little bit freezing” or “very freezing” – because the word “freezing” itself automatically means ”extremely cold.”

Regular & Extreme Adjectives List

angry furious
bad awful, terrible, horrible
big huge, gigantic, giant
clean spotless
cold freezing
crowded packed
dirty filthy
funny hilarious
good wonderful, fantastic, excellent
hot boiling
hungry starving
interesting fascinating
old ancient
pretty gorgeous
scary terrifying
small tiny
surprising astounding
tired exhausted
ugly hideous

Special Rules for Extreme Adjectives

1) No comparatives/superlatives.

With regular adjectives, we can use comparatives and superlatives to compare two or more things:

  • My house is big.
  • My neighbor’s house is bigger than mine.
  • My parents’ house is the biggest house on the street.

With extreme adjectives, we don’t use comparatives and superlatives:

  • My parents’ house is enormous.
  • My parents’ house is more enormous / the most enormous.

2) Use different adverbs with extreme adjectives.

With regular adjectives, we can use these adverbs:

  • a little, a bit, slightly, fairly, rather
  • very, extremely, immensely, intensely, hugely


  • I’m rather hungry. / I’m very hungry.
  • This room is a bit dirty. / This room is extremely dirty.
  • We’re a little tired. / We’re immensely tired.

With extreme adjectives, we CANNOT use these adverbs:

  • I’m rather starving. / I’m extremely starving.

However, there are other adverbs we can use to give additional emphasis to the extreme adjective:

  • absolutely
  • completely
  • utterly


  • I’m absolutely furious.
  • We’re completely exhausted.
  • The movie was utterly terrifying.

The words pretty and really can be used with both regular and extreme adjectives:

  • This room is pretty dirty. (regular)
  • This room is pretty filthy. (extreme)
  • The party is really crowded. (regular)
  • The party is really packed. (extreme)

Absolute Adjectives

Another type of extreme adjective is called an “absolute” adjective. 

These are words that are either “yes or no.” For example, dead - you can’t be “a little bit dead” or “very dead” – either YES, you are dead, or NO, you’re not dead.

Here’s a list of absolute adjectives and their opposites (this list is not complete; it only shows some examples):

Absolute Adjective Opposite
complete incomplete
equal unequal
essential non-essential; extraneous
dead alive
fatal not fatal
first last / final
full empty
ideal not ideal
impossible possible
infinite finite
married single / divorced / separated / widowed
perfect imperfect
pregnant not pregnant
unique not unique
universal not universal
unknown known
true false


You might hear expressions like these in spoken English:

“That’s very true.”
“It’s the very first time…”
“This shirt is more unique than that one.”

These sentences are not technically correct, because we shouldn’t use the words “very” or “more” with absolute adjectives – but native speakers don’t always follow the rules!
What do you think?Did you find this post useful?

+ نوشته شده در  دوشنبه نهم دی ۱۳۹۲ساعت 23:36 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Collocations for Talking About Your Family 92-9

immediate family – and your extended family includes all your relatives – uncles, cousins, great-aunts, etc.

You can use a family tree to diagram the relationships among your family members. A person who is related to you by a long series of connections can be called a distant relative.

If you’re lucky, you have a loving family or a close-knit family – these expressions refer to a family that has good relationships, where everyone loves each other and helps each other. If you were raised in a loving family, then you probably had a carefree childhood – that means you had nothing to worry about when you were young.

On the other hand, a family in which the relationships are bad or unhealthy can be called a dysfunctional family. If the children experience abuse, poverty, or problems with the law, we can say they had a troubled childhood.

Perhaps the parents went through a bitter divorce – that means a separation in which there were bad/angry feelings between the husband and wife. It’s also possible to have a messy divorce, with a prolonged legal battle involving lots of conflicts about the separation of the former couple’s assets (money and possessions). The decisions about the separation of assets are made in the divorce settlement. A family in which there are divorces or separations is sometimes called a broken home.

Sometimes the mother and father fight over custody of the children – that refers to who has the primary responsibility of caring for the kids. A judge can grant joint custody – that means the ex-husband and ex-wife share the responsibility – or sole custody to only one parent. For example, a judge might award sole custody to the mother, and the father has to pay child support – regular payments to help with expenses for the kids.

If it was a mutual divorce/separation – that means the ex-husband and ex-wife agreed to separate without fighting – then they will probably stay on good terms with each other (meaning to have a polite relationship without conflicts).

+ نوشته شده در  چهارشنبه بیستم آذر ۱۳۹۲ساعت 13:50 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

92-8 Phrasal Verbs about Socializing

The following is a list of phrasal verbs which are usually used in socializing:

ask (someone) over

If you ask someone over, you invite the person to your house or apartment:

“My roommates and I are going to ask our English teacher over for lunch.”

ask (someone) out

If you ask someone out, you invite the person to go out for a romantic encounter:

“Bill asked me out, but I turned him down (said no). He’s just not my type.”

come over

When a person comes over, they arrive at your house or apartment:

“Why don’t you come over to my place after class? We can work on the project together.”

bring over

To bring something over is to bring an object to the other person’s house or apartment:

“I’ll bring over my DVD collection so that we can watch some movies.”

have (someone) over

Have over is the general word for having people visit your house/apartment:

“We’re having about 15 people over for Thanksgiving dinner.”

pop in / stop in / stop by

These phrasal verbs mean to enter a place for a short period of time:

“I just stopped by to say hi – I need to go in about ten minutes.”

drop in

Drop in means to visit unexpectedly:

“My sister always drops in while I’m in the middle of doing something important. I wish she’d call me before she came over.”

drop (someone) off

Drop off is when you take somebody in your car and then leave them in another place:

“I’m going to drop my husband off at the airport. He’s traveling to London.”

pick (someone) up

Pick up is the opposite of “drop off.” If you pick someone up, you go drive to a place and get someone into your car. Remember that you drop someone off at a place, and you pick someone up from a place.

“My husband returns from London on Thursday – I’ll pick him up from the airport around noon.”

meet up with (someone)

To meet up with someone is to get together at a particular time and place:

“I’m going to meet up with some friends at the bar at 8:30.”

Take a rain check

“We’re going to play basketball tomorrow afternoon. Do you want to join us?”

I’ll have to take a rain check – my boyfriend and I are going to see a concert. Maybe another time!”

“I’ll take a rain check” is a response to a social invitation if you can’t go, but you hope the person asks you again in the future.

Do you know any other phrasal verbs used in socializing?what are they?

+ نوشته شده در  چهارشنبه سیزدهم آذر ۱۳۹۲ساعت 13:21 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Do or Make? 92-7

Do you know the difference between DO and MAKE?

These two words can be confusing, but I’ll teach you the difference – and teach you 60 common collocations with example sentences to help you!

Basic Difference between DO and MAKE

  • Use DO for actions, obligations, and repetitive tasks.
  • Use MAKE for creating or producing something, and for actions you choose to do.
  • DO generally refers to the action itself, and MAKE usually refers to the result. For example, if you “make breakfast,” the result is an omelet! If you “make a suggestion,” you have created a recommendation.

Common English Collocations with DO


  • do the housework
    After I got home from the office, I was too tired to do the housework.
  • do the laundry
    I really need to do the laundry – I don’t have any clean clothes left!
  • do the dishes
    I’ll make dinner if you do the dishes afterwards.
    (you can also say “wash the dishes”)
  • do the shopping
    I went to the bank, did some shopping, and mailed a package at the post office.

EXCEPTION: make the bed = putting blankets, sheets, and pillows in the correct place so that the bed looks nice and not messy.


  • do work
    I can’t go out this weekend – I have to do some work on an extra project.
  • do homework
    You can’t watch any TV until you’ve done your homework.
  • do business
    We do business with clients in fifteen countries.
  • do a good/great/terrible job
    She did a good job organizing the party.
    It simply means the person did something well (in this expression, “job” doesn’t necessarily refer to work.  )
  • do a report
    I’m doing a report on the history of American foreign policy.
    (you can also say “writing a report”)
  • do a course
    We’re doing a course at the local university.
    (you can also say “taking a course”)


  • do exercise
    I do at least half an hour of exercise every day.
  • do your hair (= style your hair)
    I’ll be ready to go in 15 minutes – I just need to do my hair.
  • do your nails (= paint your nails)
    Can you open this envelope for me? I just did my nails and they’re still wet.


  • do anything / something / everything / nothing
    Are you doing anything special for your birthday?
    You can’t do everything by yourself – let me help you.
  • do well
    I think I did pretty well in the interview.
  • do badly
    Everyone did badly on the test – the highest grade was 68.
  • do good
    The non-profit organization has done a lot of good in the community.
  • do the right thing
    When I found someone’s wallet on the sidewalk, I turned it in to the police because I wanted to do the right thing.
  • do your best
    Don’t worry about getting everything perfect – just do your best.

Common English Collocations with MAKE


  • make breakfast/lunch/dinner
    I’m making dinner – it’ll be ready in about ten minutes.
  • make a sandwich
    Could you make me a turkey sandwich?
  • make a salad
    I made a salad for the family picnic.
  • make a cup of tea
    Would you like me to make you a cup of tea?
  • make a reservation
    I’ve made a reservation for 7:30 at our favorite restaurant.


  • make money
    I enjoy my job, but I don’t make very much money.
  • make a profit
    The new company made a profit within its first year.
  • make a fortune
    He made a fortune after his book hit #1 on the bestseller list.
  • make $_______
    I made $250 selling my old CDs on the internet.


  • make friends
    It’s hard to make friends when you move to a big city.
  • make a pass at (= flirt with someone)
    My best friend’s brother made a pass at me – he asked if I was single and tried to get my phone number.
  • make fun of someone (= tease / mock someone)
    The other kids made fun of Jimmy when he got glasses, calling him “four eyes.”
  • make up (= resolve a problem in a relationship)
    Karen and Jennifer made up after the big fight they had last week.


  • make a phone call
    Please excuse me – I need to make a phone call.
  • make a joke
    He made a joke, but it wasn’t very funny and no one laughed.
  • make a point
    Dana made some good points during the meeting; I think we should consider her ideas.
  • make a bet
    I made a bet with Peter to see who could do more push-ups.
  • make a complaint
    We made a complaint with our internet provider about their terrible service, but we still haven’t heard back from them.
  • make a confession
    I need to make a confession: I was the one who ate the last piece of cake.
  • make a speech
    The company president made a speech about ethics in the workplace.
  • make a suggestion
    Can I make a suggestion? I think you should cut your hair shorter – it’d look great on you!
  • make a prediction
    It’s difficult to make any predictions about the future of the economy.
  • make an excuse
    When I asked him if he’d finished the work, he started making excuses about how he was too busy.
  • make a promise
    I made a promise to help her whenever she needs it.
    (you can also say, “I promised to help her whenever she needs it.”)
  • make a fuss (= demonstrate annoyance)
    Stop making a fuss – he’s only late a couple minutes. I’m sure he’ll be here soon.
  • make an observation
    I’d like to make an observation about our business plan – it’s not set in stone, so we can be flexible.
  • make a comment
    The teacher made a few critical comments on my essay.

EXCEPTION: Don’t say “make a question.” The correct phrase is “ask a question.”


  • make plans
    We’re making plans to travel to Australia next year.
  • make a decision/choice
    I’ve made my decision – I’m going to go to New York University, not Boston University.
  • make a mistake
    You made a few mistakes in your calculations – the correct total is $5430, not $4530.
  • make progress
    My students are making good progress. Their spoken English is improving a lot.
  • make an attempt / effort (= try)
    I’m making an effort to stop smoking this year.
  • make up your mind (= decide)
    Should I buy a desktop or a laptop computer? I can’t make up my mind.
  • make a discovery
    Scientists have made an important discovery in the area of genetics.
  • make a list
    I’m making a list of everything we need for the wedding: invitations, decorations, a cake, a band, the dress…
  • make sure (= confirm)
    Can you make sure we have enough copies of the report for everybody at the meeting?
  • make a difference
    Getting eight hours of sleep makes a big difference in my day. I have more energy!
  • make an exception
    Normally the teacher doesn’t accept late homework, but she made an exception for me because my backpack was stolen with my homework inside it.

+ نوشته شده در  پنجشنبه هفتم آذر ۱۳۹۲ساعت 0:13 AM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Essential Job Vocabulary 92-6

Let’s begin by answering the question, “Where do you work?” This seems like a simple question, but there are many ways to answer it:

  • I work at
  • I work in
  • I work for
  • I work with

You’re going to learn when to use each preposition.

I work at/for… (name of company)

For example, “I work at Espresso English” or “I work for Nike.”

You can also use “for” if you work directly for a famous person: “I work for Tom Cruise. I’m his public relations manager.

I work in…

I work in… (a place):

  • I work in an office.
  • I work in a school.
  • I work in a factory.

I work in… (a city/country):

  • I work in Paris.
  • I work in France.

I work in… (a department):

  • I work in the marketing department.
  • I work in human resources.
  • I work in sales.

I work in… (a general area):

  • I work in finance.
  • I work in medical research.
  • I work in consulting.

I work with… (things / people that are the objects of your day-to-day work)

  • I work with computers.
  • I’m a teacher. I work with special-needs children.

If you want to add more details about your work, you can say “I’m responsible for…”

  • I’m responsible for updating the company website.
  • I’m responsible for interviewing candidates for jobs.

After “I’m responsible for…” use the -ING form of the verb.

Let’s review:

  • I work at (a company).
  • I work for (a company / a person)
  • I work in (a place, city, country, department, or general area)
  • I work with (people / things)

In conversational English, the question “Where do you work?” is commonly phrased as “What do you do?” or “What do you do for a living?”

How do you answer this question if you don’t have a job?

You can say “I’m unemployed” - or, more indirectly, “I’m between jobs at the moment.”

If you work for yourself, you can say “I’m self-employed.” If you have your own company, you can say, “I own a small business,” or more specifically, “I own a restaurant” or “I own a graphic design company.”

Now let’s learn some essential employment vocabulary.

When you are officially accepted into a new job at a company, you are hired by the company. For example, “I was hired by an insurance company just two weeks after graduating from college.” When you’re hired, you become an employee of the company. The company becomes your employer. The other employees in the company are your colleagues or coworkers. The person above you who is responsible for your work is your boss or supervisor.

As an employee of the company, you earn a salary - money you receive regularly for your work. Don’t make the mistake of saying “win a salary” or “get a salary”  – the correct verb is “earn.” If you’re good at your job, you might get a pay raise (or a raise) – an increase in your salary. You could also get a promotion - an increase in importance and authority. At the end of the year, some companies give their employees a bonus - extra money for work well done.

The opposite of “hire” is fire - when your company forces you to leave your job. For example, “Peter was fired because he never came to work on time.” Usually if someone is fired, it’s because they did something bad. If an employee loses his or her job because of a neutral reason, like the company reducing its size, then we say the employee was laid off. For example, “Donna was laid off when her company started having financial problems.”

If you decide to leave your job, there are three verbs you can use:

  • I’m going to quit my job.
  • I’m going to leave my job.
  • I’m going to resign.

“Quit” is informal, “resign” is formal, and “leave” can be formal or informal.

When an old person decides to stop working, the verb for this is retire. In most countries, people retire around age 65.

+ نوشته شده در  جمعه یکم آذر ۱۳۹۲ساعت 23:16 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

An Informal Telephone Conversation 92-5

Let’s listen to an informal telephone conversation, after Ryan gets home from work.

Linda: Hello?

Ryan: Hi Linda, it’s Ryan. How’s it going?

Linda: Pretty good, thanks. How about you?

Ryan: I’m fine. Sure glad it’s Friday. Hey, is Peter there?

Linda: Yeah, hold on, I’ll get him. Peter! Ryan’s on the phone.

Peter: Hey Ryan, what’s up?

Ryan: Not much. Are you up for going fishing this weekend?

Peter: What? There’s a lot of background noise – I can barely hear you.

Ryan: Sorry about that – I’m at the train station. I was wondering if you wanted to go fishing this weekend. I’m heading up to Mountain Lake with some friends early tomorrow morning.

Peter: Uh, hang on a sec, let me just check with my wife to make sure we have no other plans.

Ryan: Sure.

Peter: Okay, she’s given me the green light!

Ryan: Sweet! We’ll pick you up at 6 tomorrow morning, is that OK?

Peter: Yup. Do you need directions to my place?

Ryan: Uh, you still living on Willow Street, near the community center?

Peter: Yeah, that’s right. The yellow house, number 30.

Ryan: Gotcha. I know how to get there.

Peter: All right – see you tomorrow, then.

Ryan: Take care.

Peter: Bye.

Telephone English Phrases – Informal Conversation

Let’s learn some of the different phrases used in an informal telephone conversation. In informal phone calls, most people answer the phone by saying “Hello?” and the introduction is also different:

  • Formal: “Hello, this is _______.”
  • Informal: “Hi / Hey ________, it’s _________.”

We see two different greetings in this conversation: “How’s it going?” and “What’s up?” These greetings require different answers. You can answer “How’s it going?” (or the similar question “How are you doing?”) with:

  • “Great!”
  • “Pretty good, thanks.”
  • “Not so good.”

And the typical answers to “What’s up?” are:

  • “Not much.”
  • “Nothing much.”

The phrase “How about you?” is used to ask the same question to the other person. Notice that it is spoken like this: “Howbout you?”

In the formal conversation, Ryan used the phrase “May I speak with…” – but in an informal conversation, you can use these phrases:

  • “Is Peter there?”
  • “Is Peter around?”
  • “Can I talk to Peter?”

If the person is not available, some informal responses are:

  • “Sorry – he’s not home right now.”
  • “He’s not here.”
  • “He’s still at work.”
  • “He’s at the gym.”

This conversation also contains some expressions for asking someone to wait:

  • “Hold on.”
  • “Hang on a sec.”
  • “Just a minute” / “Just a sec”

The formal equivalent of these phrases would be “One moment please” or “Please hold.”

At one point, Peter can’t hear or understand Ryan. Here are some phrases to use if you’re having difficulty hearing the other person on the phone.

  • “There’s a lot of background noise – I can barely hear you.”
  • “You’re breaking up. Could you call me back?”
    (breaking up = you can only hear parts of what the other person is saying)
  • “We have a bad connection.”
  • “Sorry – I didn’t catch what you just said.”
  • “Could you speak a little louder?”
    (say this if the person is speaking too quietly)
  • “Could you speak a little more slowly?”
    (say this if the person is speaking too fast)
  • “What did you say?” (informal)
  • “Could you repeat that?” / “Could you say that again?” (more formal)

If the bad connection causes the call to fail, you can call the other person back and say this:

  • “Hi, it’s Ryan again. Apparently we got cut off.”

“Cut off” is a phrasal verb that means the call failed or disconnected.

Towards the end of the conversation, Ryan uses the phrase “Gotcha” - this is a very informal phrase that means “I understand.” Another option is “Got it.” or “Right.”


+ نوشته شده در  سه شنبه چهاردهم آبان ۱۳۹۲ساعت 23:36 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

A Formal Telephone Conversation (2) 92-4

Now you know the basic telephone vocabulary. In the next part of the lesson, you’re going to hear some conversations to learn some useful English phrases for talking on the phone.

 Formal Telephone Conversation    

Helen: Midtown Computer Solutions, Helen speaking. How can I help you?

Ryan: Hello, this is Ryan Bardos. May I speak with Natalie Jones, please?

Helen: One moment please – I’ll put you through.

Helen: Mr. Bardos? I’m sorry, Natalie’s in a meeting at the moment. Would you like to leave a message?

Ryan: Yes, could you ask her to call me back as soon as possible? It’s pretty urgent.

Helen: Of course. Does she have your number?

Ryan: She has my office number, but let me also give you my cell – it’s 472-555-8901.

Helen: Let me read that back to you – 472-555-8901.

Ryan: That’s right.

Helen: And could you spell your last name for me?

Ryan: B as in Boston – A – R – D as in dog – O – S as in September

Helen: Okay, Mr. Bardos. I’ll give her the message.

Ryan: Thanks a lot. Bye.

Now let’s listen to the second part of the conversation, when Natalie calls Ryan back.

Ryan: Hello?

Natalie: Hi, Ryan, this is Natalie returning your call.

Ryan: Hi Natalie, thanks for getting back to me. I was calling about the shipment of keyboards for our office – we haven’t gotten them yet.

Natalie: Oh, that’s not good – they were supposed to be delivered three days ago.

Ryan: Exactly, and we have a new group of employees starting on Monday, so we really need those keyboards as soon as possible.

Natalie: Okay, I’ll look into it right away – if necessary, we can send you an emergency overnight shipment.

Ryan: Thanks, Natalie, I appreciate it.

Natalie: No problem, Ryan. I’ll call you back a little later, as soon as I have more information.

Ryan: Sounds good – talk to you soon.

Natalie: Bye.

Telephone English Phrases – Formal Conversation

From these conversations, we can learn phrases for beginning a phone call, taking and leaving messages, checking and clarifying information, and finishing a phone call.


When Helen answers the phone, she says, “Midtown Computer Solutions, Helen speaking. How can I help you?” This is a common way for a receptionist at a company or organization to answer the phone. Here are a couple alternatives:

  • “Thank you for calling Midtown Computer Solutions. How may I direct your call?”
  • “Midtown Computer Solutions – good afternoon.”

To introduce yourself, you can say: “Hello, this is…” and if you want, you can add your company name:

  • “Hello, this is Ryan Bardos.”
  • “Hello, this is Ryan Bardos from Paramount Publishing.”

Then, ask to speak to somebody by using the phrases:

  • “May I speak with…?”
  • “Could I speak with…?”

You can also add the phrase “I’m calling about…” or “I’m calling to…” in order to give a reason for your call. Use “I’m calling about…” to introduce a topic, and “I’m calling to…” to introduce an action:

  • “I’m calling about the job opening I saw in the newspaper.”
  • “I’m calling to register for the upcoming conference.”

To connect or transfer the call, the receptionist says, “One moment please – I’ll put you through.” A few other phrases for transferring a call are:

  • “Please hold.”
  • “I’ll transfer you.”
  • “May I ask who’s calling?” / “Who’s calling, please?”
    If you forgot to identify yourself at the beginning of the call, the receptionist will sometimes use this phrase to ask for your name.


Unfortunately the person Ryan wants to speak to is not available, and the receptionist says “I’m sorry, Natalie’s in a meeting at the moment.” Here are some additional phrases to use when another person can’t answer a telephone call:

  • “I’m sorry, she’s on another call.”
  • “I’m sorry, Natalie has left for the day.”
  • “I’m sorry, Natalie’s not in her office right now.”
  • “I’m sorry, she’s out of town at the moment.”
  • “I’m sorry, she’s not available at the moment.”

Then, there are two common phrases that are used for offering to take a message:

  • “Would you like to leave a message?”
  • “Can I take a message?”

If you don’t want to leave a message, you can say: “No thanks, I’ll call back later.”

There are two polite ways to leave a message. You can make a statement starting with “Please” or a question starting with “Could you…” – usually followed by the verbs ask, tell, or remind and then “him” (if the message is for a man) or “her” (if the message is for a woman).

  • “Could you ask her to call me back?”
  • “Please ask him to call me back.”
  • “Please tell him/her that the documents are ready.”
  • “Please remind him/her that he/she has a dentist appointment tomorrow.”


While taking the message, the receptionist used two phrases for checking and confirming information:

  • “Let me read that back to you.”
  • “Could you spell your last name for me?”

The verb “spell” means to say the letters of the word. Ryan replies:

  • “B as in Boston – A – R – D as in dog – O – S as in September.”

It’s common to use phrases like “B as in Boston” and “S as in September” with letters that can be frequently confused with others, such as B and D, S and F, or M and N.


When you want to finish the conversation, you can use “signal phrases” – these are phrases indicating that the conversation is coming to an end:

  • “Well, it was nice talking with you.”
  • “Thanks for calling.”
  • “…Anyway I should let you go / I should get going.”

If you want to promise future contact, you can use one of the phrases from the second conversation:

  • “I’ll get in touch in a couple of days.”
    (get in touch = contact you)
  • “I’ll call you back a little later”
  • “Talk to you soon.”

Then you can finish the conversation with one of these “final phrases”:

  • “Bye.”
  • “Take care.”
  • “Have a nice day.”

  Response: “You too. Bye.”

+ نوشته شده در  دوشنبه سیزدهم آبان ۱۳۹۲ساعت 13:4 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

Telephone English Phrases(1) 92-3

let’s learn some essential telephone vocabulary, and then you’ll hear examples of formal and informal telephone conversations in future posts.

There are different types of phones:

  •   Cell phones or mobile phones
    (a cell phone with more advanced capabilities is called a smartphone)
  •   Pay phones or public phones
  • The regular telephone you have in your house is called a landline - to differentiate it from a cell phone.
  • Another type of phone is called a cordless phone because it is not connected by a cord.

When someone calls you, the phone makes a sound – we say the phone is ringing. If you’re available, you pick up the telephone or answer the telephone, in order to talk to the person.

If there’s nobody to answer the phone, then the caller will have to leave a message on an answering machine or voice mail. Later, you can call back or return the call.

When you want to make a phone call, you start by dialing the number. Let’s imagine that you call your friend, but she’s already on the phone with someone else. You’ll hear a busy signal – a beeping sound that tells you the other person is currently using the phone.

Sometimes, when you call a company, they put you on hold. This is when you wait for your call to be answered – usually while listening to music.

Finally, when you’re finished with the conversation, you hang up.

+ نوشته شده در  جمعه دهم آبان ۱۳۹۲ساعت 15:49 PM  توسط Lotfollah Akbari Malek  | 

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