Tag: Conjunctions

Conjunctions of time
Conjunctions of time

To teach the conjunctions of time, it is crucial that the students understand the meaning of the conjunctions. That is why I have created the following graphic organiser which I use to explain the meaning of the conjunctions:
Conjunctions of time graphic explanation
I print the picture and hand it out to my students.


Then I explain the meaning of the conjunctions. If I teach monolingual classes I translate the meaning of the words and then I explain how the usage differs in English. However, if you teach an international group you need to explain the meaning in English.

  • AFTER means later or then.
  • WHEN says that action 2 happens after action one. Moreover, action one is certain to happen.
  • BEFORE means sooner.
  • WHILE – the two actions happen at the same time.
  • AS SOON AS – immediately after.
  • IF – is similar to when, but the action 1 may not happen and then the action 2 will not happen. I like to emphasize that IF includes a  decision.

I am not saying that the explanation is perfect, but it works pretty well for my students so it might work for your students, too.

Conjunctions of time – practise

Now your students understand the meaning of the conjunctions. But can they use them?
I suppose that there will be some exercises in your textbooks or that you can find some worksheets online. So I created two rather unusual exercises to practise the grammar.
The first one is a game. Download the following pdf document and open it in Acrobat reader by Adobe (the game will not work otherwise).
The game is called Penalty Shootout. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then score a goal.

The second unusual activity to practice the conjunctions of time is a video quiz.
Students prepare a piece of paper and watch the video and write down their answer for each sentence. There are eight sentences and the students can see the correct answers at the end.

I hope you will find these activities useful and that your students will learn the conjunctions of time and will use them correctly.

Learn to use the conjunctions DESPITE, IN SPITE OF and ALTHOUGH
Learn to use the conjunctions DESPITE, IN SPITE OF and ALTHOUGH

In this post I would like to teach you how to use the words DESPITE, IN SPITE OF, ALTHOUGH, EVEN THOUGH, BECAUSE OF and BECAUSE correctly. I will explain the meaning of the words and the grammar. To help you with this there are two games, a mind map, a video explanation and a graphical explanation. I hope you will learn to use these conjunctions.


Conjunctions – meaning

The meaning of the conjunctions DESPITE and IN SPITE OF is the same. ALTHOUGH and EVEN THOUGH are the same as well. And so are the meanings of the words BECAUSE and BECAUSE OF. As you will see later the main difference between these words is their grammar.
The meaning of these conjunctions is clearly explained in the following graphics:
The meaning of the conjuctions

If you want to print out the graphic, you can download the pdf file below:

The meaning

Conjunctions – the usage

As I write above, the main difference between the phrases is their usage. To cut the explanation short, the words DESPITE, IN SPITE OF and BECAUSE OF are followed by a noun phrase or a gerund (verb + ing). The conjunctions BECAUSE, EVEN THOUGH and ALTHOUGH are followed by a clause.
You can see the explanation again in the following mind map:

Despite, in spite of, because mind map

To make it absolutely clear, here is an interactive video explaining the usage of the words BECAUSE and BECAUSE OF.

This video uses the free recording offered by BBC learning English at http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/radio/specials/165_gramchallenge10/
To experience the video full screen click on the following button (as it is HTML5 video it will work on your mobile too):
BECAUSE – video explanation


Conjunctions – quizzes and games

The first game is slightly easier but it can be played only on your desktop. It is called Hoopshoot and your task is to choose the correct conjunction. If you succeed you will be given a chance to score a basket.

The second quiz is fully in HTML5 so it will play on any mobile device you own. Your task is to connect both of the sentences into one and use the conjunction in the brackets. If you pass the test you will play the game called Math Pop and practise your Maths too.

Conjunctions – quiz and Math pop game