January 31, 2011

Phrasal verb: think (something) over

"think (something) over"

Meaning: consider

Example: The owners will have to think your proposal over before they make their final decision.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hold (something) back
look (something) over
put (someone) down
switch (something) on

January 30, 2011

3 Tips for Expressing a Preference in IELTS Speaking

Good afternoon!

In Speaking part 1 you will encounter questions that would require you to show your choice, inclination, or predisposition toward certain things, circumstances, or situations. In other words, you will need to express a preference. Here are some things to remember:

1. If you need to express a general preference, use "I prefer."

Example: "I prefer sneakers to flip flops."

2. If you have to show a specific preference or express hypothetical situations, use "I'd prefer" or "I'd rather."

Example: "I'd rather log in to Facebook." or "I'm used to riding jeepneys and taxis but I'd prefer having my own car."

3. Finally, in IELTS speaking, it's better to use the expressions "I'd prefer", "I'd rather" instead of their longer counterparts "I would prefer" or "I would rather".

Next week you'll see tips when it comes to narrating in IELTS speaking.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

January 28, 2011

Phrasal verb: switch (something) on

"switch (something) on"

Meaning: start the energy flow, turn on

Example: "The Walking Dead" was just starting when we switched the TV on.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
switch (something) off
think back
break (something) in
check out
get on (something)

Idiom: state of the art

"state of the art"

Meaning: using the latest technology

Example: The hospital recently purchased new pieces of equipment as part of its development plan. I've seen them and they're really state of the art.


Last week's idioms:
so-so
two-faced
be up and running
cool
get up and go

January 27, 2011

Phrasal verb: put (someone) down

"put (someone) down"

Meaning: insult, make someone feel stupid

Example: The boys put their new neighbor down because of his clunky boots.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
switch (something) off
think back
break (something) in
check out
get on (something)

January 26, 2011

January 25, 2011

Idiom: "kind of"

"kind of"

Meaning: rather; more or less; a little

Example: I'm feeling kind of sleepy. I'll just take a short nap.


Last week's idioms:
so-so
two-faced
be up and running
cool
get up and go

January 24, 2011

January 23, 2011

3 Tips for Speculating in IELTS Speaking

Hello again. In part 3 of the IELTS Speaking test, there would be topics that would require you to speculate, theorize, or make conjectures. If ever you encounter such questions where you have to show possibility, just take note of the following:

1. Questions here would be related to the topic in part 2 of your speaking test.

2. Always remember to state your own opinions as well as give justifications and examples for every opinion you make.

3. Finally, use words/phrases such as "maybe", "perhaps", and "it's highly likely" so you could effectively speculate or express possibility.

Next week, you'll be seeing tips when you have to express a preference in IELTS speaking.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

January 21, 2011

January 20, 2011

Phrasal verb: check out

"check out"

Meaning: leave a hotel

Example: We have to check out of the Edsa Plaza Hotel before 1:00 PM.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get back into (something)
hold (someone/something) back
look out for (someone/something)
put (something) down

Idiom: cool

"cool" (also "kewl")

Meaning: neat, special, wonderful

Example: The IELTS tips I see here are really cool!


Last week's idioms:
Get real!
head honcho
kid (noun)
lousy

January 19, 2011

Phrasal verb: break (something) in

"break (something) in"

Meaning: wear something a few times so that it doesn't look/feel new

Example: I need to break my new sneakers in in before we run the 20K next week.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get back into (something)
hold (someone/something) back
look out for (someone/something)
put (something) down

Idiom: be up and running

"be up and running"

Meaning: (for a technological process) be operational; be ready to use

Example: Berto's bake shop has been up and running since the early 1980's.


Last week's idioms:
Get real!
head honcho
kid (noun)
lousy

January 18, 2011

Phrasal verb: think back

"think back"

Meaning: remember (often + to, sometimes + on)

Example: When I think back on my high school days, I wish I had joined extra-curricular clubs.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get back into (something)
hold (someone/something) back
look out for (someone/something)
put (something) down

Idiom: two-faced

"two-faced"

Meaning: deceitful; disloyal; someone who pretends to be a friend but isn't

Example: In the latter part of the Harry Potter story, Severus Snape was eventually shown to be two-faced with regard to Voldemort, as his loyalty was truly with Dumbledore.


Last week's idioms:
Get real!
head honcho
kid (noun)
lousy

January 17, 2011

Phrasal verb: switch (something) off

"switch (something) off"

Meaning: stop the energy flow, turn off

Example: Please switch the light off when you leave the room.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
get back into (something)
hold (someone/something) back
look out for (someone/something)
put (something) down

Idiom: so-so

"so-so"

Meaning: fair; not particularly good

Example: The roller coaster ride was so-so. It was not that bad, but I've experienced some good ones.


Last week's idioms:
Get real!
head honcho
kid (noun)
lousy

January 16, 2011

4 Tips for Expressing and Justifying Opinions in IELTS Speaking

Some questions in Part 2 of the IELTS Speaking test would require you to talk about your opinions. Here are some tips for you to properly answer them.

1. Always remember to provide reasons for your opinions. Likewise, it would really help you get good scores if you could give examples for your points.

2. In Part 2, you would also be given a task card and 1 minute to think about what you're going to say. Take advantage of the time by jotting down notes.

3. When you answer, use linking words and phrases to connect your ideas. Avoid giving one-word answers or short phrases.

4. Finally, in making your notes, just write down keywords since you only have 1 minute to organize your thoughts.

Next week, you'll be seeing some tips when you're required to speculate in IELTS speaking.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

January 14, 2011

Phrasal verb: put (something) down

"put (something) down"

Meaning: put what you are holding on a surface or floor

Example: Please put the books down on that table.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
tear (something) up
break into (something)
catch up
drop out

January 13, 2011

Phrasal verb: look out for (someone/something)

"look out for (someone/something)"

Meaning: be especially vigilant for

Example: As part of my special team, you should always look out for those who need our help.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
tear (something) up
break into (something)
catch up
drop out

Idiom: lousy

"lousy"

Meaning: terrible; very bad

Example: I'd have to find a detailer who's not going to do a lousy job on my car.


Last week's idioms:
tricky
would ('d) just as soon
be over
a cinch

January 11, 2011

Phrasal verb: hold (someone/something) back

"hold (someone/something) back"

Meaning: prevent from doing/going

Example: I had to hold my son back because I noticed that the floor was wet.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
tear (something) up
break into (something)
catch up
drop out

Idiom: head honcho

"head honcho"

Meaning: person in charge; top boss

Example: Tony Hsieh is head honcho of Zappos.


Last week's idioms:
tricky
would ('d) just as soon
be over
a cinch

January 10, 2011

Phrasal verb: get back into (something)

"get back into (something)"

Meaning: become interested in something again

Example: After many months, I finally got back into my car and finished detailing it.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
tear (something) up
break into (something)
catch up
drop out

Idiom: Get real!

"Get real!"

Meaning: Be realistic! / Don't be naive

Example: Get real! You can't ask Miley out. She's now dating Mitchel.


Last week's idioms:
tricky
would ('d) just as soon
be over
a cinch

January 9, 2011

4 Tips for Providing Information in IELTS Speaking

Happy New Year to all. It has been a long holiday for us. Now's a great time to start the year for sharing our IELTS tips for speaking. Read on.

1. In IELTS speaking, you are scored in relation to the following criteria:

-fluency and coherence
-lexical resource
-grammatical range and accuracy
-pronunciation

2. When you answer, neither give a one-word answer nor provide short answers. You are there to show that you have the ability to communicate well in English. Such one-word answers won't enable you to receive high scores.

3. Should you need a few seconds to think before you speak, then you could use phrases like "Well, let me think about that for a moment." or other similar phrases so you'd be able to give yourself time.

4. In IELTS speaking, it is important to keep in mind that you don't get marks on WHAT you say, but on HOW you say it.

Next week, you'll be seeing our tips whenever you need to express or justify opinions in the IELTS speaking module.

Cheers. :)

Other IELTS speaking tips:

January 7, 2011

Phrasal verb: drop out

"drop out"

Meaning: quit a class, school etc.

Example: Eduardo is planning to drop out of law school because he's having a difficult time coping with the schedule.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hang up
look out
point (someone/something) out
stick to (something)

January 6, 2011

Phrasal verb: catch up

"catch up"

Meaning: get to the same point as someone else

Example: You'll have to read this book from cover to cover if you want to catch up with the rest of the class.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hang up
look out
point (someone/something) out
stick to (something)

Idiom: a cinch

"a cinch"

Meaning: something that's very easy to do

Example: I really felt that the IELTS test was a cinch. I was even able to finish ahead of the other candidates.


Last week's idioms:
have (something) down pat
keep (one's) fingers crossed
sort of

January 5, 2011

January 4, 2011

Idiom: would ('d) just as soon

"would ('d) just as soon"

Meaning: would ('d) rather; prefer

Example: I know that Dina's birthday is two weeks from now, but it wouldn't hurt if I order her gift today. I'd just as soon be prepared so I won't be in a rush later.


Last week's idioms:
have (something) down pat
keep (one's) fingers crossed
sort of

January 3, 2011

Phrasal verb: tear (something) up

"tear (something) up"

Meaning: rip into pieces

Example: David accidentally tore the car upholstery up when he sat on it.


Last week's phrasal verbs:
hang up
look out
point (someone/something) out
stick to (something)

Idiom: tricky

"tricky"

Meaning: easily confused or misunderstood

Example: Task 2 of IELTS writing was tricky. I hope to get a high score.


Last week's idioms:
have (something) down pat
keep (one's) fingers crossed
sort of