Tag: grammar games

Irregular verbs in context – Scream
Irregular verbs in context – Scream

Teaching irregular verbs can be fun. The verbs are easy to use to tell stories and stories are interesting for everyone.
In the following post I am going to tell a story and you can learn the past tense of ten irregular verbs there.
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[showmyads] To achieve this there are a video, a worksheet, a comic and an interactive quiz. I hope you will find them interesting.
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Scream story – video

[/su_heading][su_spacer] Watch the following story. The story is easy to follow as the colour follows the voice.

If you prefer telling the story yourself, you can use the following comic:
Irregular verbs in context Scream story
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Scream story – worksheet

[/su_heading][su_spacer] Once you introduce the story, it is time to deal with the language. First, translate the words in the table and then ask the students to read the story again and answer the comprehension questions. Of, course you can play the video instead.
Then ask the students to complete the text and in the end ask them to solve the crossword. Once they solve the crossword using the past tense ask them to work in pairs and retell the story using the comic.

Past-simple-story_scream_original_ws_better
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Irregular verbs – interactive quiz

[/su_heading][su_spacer] When you finish the worksheet, you can ask the students to do the following interactive quiz. As the quiz is in HTML5 they could try it out on their mobiles or you could do it on an interactive whiteboard.

If you want to play the quiz on the full screen, click the button below.
[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/irregular_verbs/scream/Scream irregular verbs (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#f08cf5″ size=”6″]IRREGULAR VERBS SCREAM STORY[/su_button] [su_spacer][su_heading]

Irregular verbs – share

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If you like the quiz above and you would like to share it on your blog or use it in a classroom without an internet connection, you can do this. You can download all the files here and upload them to your site just unpack the files and use them in the classroom:
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Irregular verbs – more resources

[/su_heading][su_spacer] If you would like to practise a bit more, here are several resources you might like.
Irregular verbs in context
Teach 9 irregular verbs in context
Several videos:

Other sites:
British council site
Learn English for teenagers

Present simple or present continuous tense – improved
Present simple or present continuous tense – improved

I have already published a post on Present simple and continuous tense here. However, as my teaching situation changed I realize that I need a slightly different type of materials and a bit more of them. So in this post I add the following materials: a Song, Speaking exercise, graphical explanation of the usage of the tenses, three interactive games and a worksheet. I hope you will find these materials really useful.
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Present simple and continuous tense – visual presentation

[/su_heading][su_spacer] I recycle the mind maps which I used in the previous post, because they proved to be really great even at my new school.

Present simple tense mind map
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Present continuous tense mind map
However, here is another graphical presentation of the two tenses. In the presentation I try to demonstrate the difference between usage of present simple and present continous tense.
Present simple vs present continuous explanation

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Present simple and continuous tense – Song

[/su_heading][su_spacer] Having presented the tenses, it is time to teach the form. To achieve this Tutortunes have offered the following song:

You can find more songs for teaching English at http://tutortunes.com

In my lessons I play the song and I ask my students to raise their hands when they hear present simple tense. Then I play it again and I ask them to raise their hands when they hear present continuous tense.

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Present simple and continuous tense – Practice

[/su_heading][su_spacer] First, I would like to practise present simple tense with my students. I have prepared the pair cards activity for them. Print out the following worksheet and cut it in the middle (from top down not from side to side). Ask the students to work in pairs. Each student gets 8 completed sentences and 8 sentences with gaps. Students read (they must not write anything) their gapped sentences and complete them with the correct forms of the verb HAVE GOT. Their partner listens and checks or corrects their answers (He/she has the full sentences). Once they finish they can swap their cards and start again. At the end of this activity I ask my students to choose 3 questions they would like to ask me. I answer the questions and then I ask my students to ask and answer the questions in pairs.

present simple_paircards

All the other activities concentrate on the difference between the two tenses. The first one is a worksheet where the students should fill in the verb in present simple or continuous tense.

Present_simple_continuous_pdf

The last three activities are interactive. First, there is a HTML5 version of the worksheet above. If you pass the test, you will be able to play the game called Angry Finches.

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To play the quiz on the full screen click on the button below:
[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/present_simple_vs_continuous/Present simple vs Present continuous_angryfinches (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#d892f5″ size=”6″]Present simple and continuous – Angry Finches[/su_button]

The second interactivity is once again in HTML5 and it will play on any device. In this one you should fill in the gaps and if you pass the quiz you will be able to play the game Tic-Tac-Toe. This game is a bit of a challenge as there is just one way to win it. Can you find it?

Once again, it is better to play the game on the full screen so you can do this by clicking on the button below:
[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/present_simple_vs_continuous/Present simple and continuous_forms_tic_tac_toe (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#d892f5″ size=”6″]Present simple and continuous – Tic_tac_toe[/su_button]

The last game is in Flash and it works only on desktops. But it is great for interactive whiteboards. It is called on Target and you have to answer each question correctly and then shoot the bad ducks. Do not forget that you can get a bonus by shooting a bottle on the side 🙂

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/present_simple_vs_continuous/present_simple_continuous_on_target.html” target=”blank” background=”#d892f5″ size=”6″]Present simple and continuous – On target[/su_button]
Have got for elementary and weak students
Have got for elementary and weak students

I have changed jobs and now I teach at elementary school. And even though I think that I am an experienced teacher I have never taught students with actual learning problems. Now I do, and I face real challenges. For example, this week I taught the verb HAVE GOT from the Project 1 textbook, and I failed to teach anything at all. When I asked my students to complete the green table with the correct forms, there was no reaction. And when I asked them to transform the affirmative sentences into negative ones, there was just one student who could do this.
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[showmyads] At that moment, I realised that I have to teach them differently. So I created the following materials to help my students learn to use the verb HAVE GOT in affirmative and negative sentences. I hope I will be more successful this time, and that you will find these materials helpful too.

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HAVE GOT – visual presentation

[/su_heading][su_spacer] First I tried my usual graphic presentation with all the forms in a colourful table. This works great with gifted children. However, it did not work with my weak students:
Have got a mind map

As I write above, table like this was very good for talented students but not for the pupils with learning problems. They need something else. But what?
When we wrote a test on vocabulary 75% of them were able to learn all the words correctly. So why not teach them the verb and its forms as a vocabulary item. No fine deduction just a crude memory work. I believe that is the way. So I have created the following graphical presentations.
Have got memory method

havent gotmemory method
Ask your students to learn the forms by heart. Then ask them to use the phrases and write sentences to the pictures. If this proves too difficult write the five sentences randomly on the board and ask them to match them to the pictures and copy them.
Work in the same way with the negative sentences. In this way the students might comprehend the logic behind the forms or they will just remember the phrases and thus be able to use them.

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HAVE GOT – classroom practise and worksheets

[/su_heading][su_spacer] I usually give only a game or two here, but this time I see it necessary to offer a few activities the students could do in a classroom without the interactive whiteboard. Moreover, from my experience these children are not very good at the computer games and the quickly lose interest in them.
The first activity is called MT Board. I have create the following worksheet. At the top there is a table with the mother tongue sentences (the sentences are in Czech, so you have to change this one if you are not Czech). Below it there is the same table with the English sentences. Cut the English sentences along the lines and leave the mother tongue board intact. Ask the students to work in pairs and give them the Mother Tongue board and the English pieces. Ask them to place the pieces on the
board. Check their answers.

Board_push_have got
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[showmyads] The second activity is called a pair card. Print out the following worksheet and cut it in the middle (from top down not from side to side). Ask the students to work in pairs. Each student gets 8 completed sentences and 8 sentences with gaps. Students read (they must not write anything) their gapped sentences and complete them with the correct forms of the verb HAVE GOT. Their partner listens and checks or corrects their answers (He/she has the full sentences). Once they finish they can swap their cards and start again.

Have got_paircards

The last classroom activity is a drill. Once you feel that your students got the hang of the grammar, you can play the following recording. The native speaker will say the subject and the students have to supply the correct form of the verb HAVE GOT in the pause. Each pause is followed by the correct form and another subject.

To download the file, right-click the following link and choose the option SAVE AS…
Have got_mp3 drill
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HAVE GOT – Games

[/su_heading][su_spacer] And finally here are the games for people who like to play them either on the interactive whiteboards, desktops or their mobile devices.
The game is called Basketball. This game is in flash and it will play only on your desktop.
Your task is to choose the correct form and then score a basket.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/have got/Have got_basketball.html” target=”blank” background=”#92f5a7″ size=”6″]Have got – basketball[/su_button]
WAS or WERE – the really important grammar
WAS or WERE – the really important grammar

As the word WAS is the ninth and WERE the 34th most frequent word in English it is crucial to use them correctly. You simply cannot avoid using these words, and if you make mistakes in these two words, people will think that you cannot speak English. For teachers it is important to teach this piece of grammar correctly and practise it a lot with their students.

In this post, I would love to teach these two words properly. You can find here a mind map to present this grammar, an MP3 drill recording where your students can practise the forms and two games which will test your or your students’ knowledge of the grammar. I hope it will work.

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WAS WERE – mind map

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Look at the mind map below and study the usage of the words WAS and WERE. I have tried to present the grammar a bit unusually and put WERE first. Moreover, I list a lot of subjects to give the students a chance to deduce their own rules.

was were mind map
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WAS WERE – Drill

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Play the following recording. After each subject there is a pause in which you should supply the correct form WAS of WERE. After this pause you will hear the correct form given by the native speaker. This recording is suitable for listening to in your car or on your mobile phone or iPod.

You can download the file by right-clicking on the following link

The verbs WAS and WERE drill – download

Videos

You can practise the grammar using the following Youtube videos. In the first video, read and complete the senteces with WAS or WERE. Try not to make a mistake.

In this video, you should make negative sentences with WAS or WERE.

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WAS WERE – Games

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In the following quizzes you can test your knowledge of the grammar. The first quiz is in HTML5 and it will play on any mobile device. If you pass the test you will be able to play the game called TIC-TAC-TOE. The game is quite difficult, but believe me there is a way to win it. Can you find it?

If you want to play the game on the full screen click the button below:

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/was_were/WAS or WERE_tic_tac (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#92eef5″ size=”6″]WAS WERE – TIC TAC TOE full screen[/su_button]

The second game is in Flash and it will play just on your desktop. However, it is suitable for a classroom use, as the questions are short and there comes a short game after each question the students pass. The game is called A car race and it is quite popular with students.

If you want to play the game on the full screen click the button below:

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/was_were/WAS or WERE (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#92eef5″ size=”6″]WAS WERE – CAR RACE game – full screen[/su_button]
SVOMPT – word order in English
SVOMPT – word order in English

SVOMPT rule is one of the most important rules in English. If students learn to follow this rule, their English will improve dramatically, and they will be understood. Once a student knows some words and follows the SVOMPT rule, we can say that he/she can speak English.

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I love Darren Crown’s explanation of the origin of the SVOMPT word order. In his humorous book “Angličtina na rovinu” he writes that English was first used by a primitive tribe whose members did not want to use their brain too much and thus they created a word order which is always the same – Subject, Verb, Object, adverbs of Manner, adverbs of Place and adverbs of Time. So let´s stop looking for some complicated explanations and let´s think like the primitive barbarians and stick with the SVOMPT word order.
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SVOMPT – mind map

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The path shows the way an affirmative English sentence is created. You start with a Subject at the top and then you go down and add the words according to the SVOMPT rule.
SVOMPT word order mind map
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SVOMPT – games and quizzes

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At the moment you feel you understand the grammar it is time to put your knowledge into practice. First, to be able to follow the rule you have to know what part of speech a given word is. You must know whether it is a Subject, Verb, Object, adverb of Manner, adverb of Place or adverb of Time to place the word into the correct place in an English sentence. To help you with this, you can try the following quiz where your task is to tell what part of speech a given word is. If you pass the test, you can play the game Angry finches.

If you want to play the quiz on the full screen, click on the button below.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/SVOMPT/Word order_finches (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#92eef5″ size=”6″]SVOMPT – what is this word[/su_button]

In the second quiz your task is to put the sentence into the correct order. If you pass this quiz, you can improve your vocabulary in the game called Word Boggle.

If you want to play the quiz on the full screen, click on the button below.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/SVOMPT/Word order_words (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#92eef5″ size=”6″]SVOMPT – Arrange the sentence[/su_button]

Both games and quizzes are in HTML5 so they should play on all mobile devices.

Questions with WHAT for learners of English
Questions with WHAT for learners of English

Our most popular post is about questions with HOW. There is another post on all the WH question words. In this post I would like to deal with the questions starting with the word WHAT. To help you with this grammar there is a mind map and two games.

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Questions with the word WHAT – mind map

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The mind map shows the most frequent usages of the word WHAT in questions. What is most frequently followed by IS/ARE. Another possibility is, that it is followed by a NOUN. The most common nouns after the word WHAT are colour, kind of, sort of and time. And the third option is that the word WHAT is followed by DO/DID.

There are three set phrases which you should learn by heart: What happened? What is he like? and What does she look like?

The mind map clearly shows the usage of the word WHAT and it is designed in such a way that it can be used as a worksheet too. Your task is to write 10 correct questions starting with WHAT there.

Questions with WHAT mind map 2
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Questions with the word WHAT – games

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The first quiz and game in one has been designed in HTML5 so you can play it on any mobile device or a computer. Your task is to answer the quiz questions and if you pass the quiz, the game Word boggle is waiting for you. Your task is to find in 30 seconds as many words as possible. The longer the word the more points you get. At the end you can share your score on Facebook or here in the comments section. Good luck.

If you are using a mobile phone click here, to see it on the full screen.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/what/WHAT questions_wordboggle (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#ad1776″ size=”6″]Questions with WHAT – Mobile quiz[/su_button]

The second game is in flash and it will play only on desktops. It is called Penalty and your task is to answer the questions and score. Could you be a professional footballer?? 🙂

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/grammar/what/Questions with what_penalty.swf” target=”blank” background=”#ad1776″ size=”6″]Questions with WHAT – Penalty[/su_button]

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.

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Conjunctions – meaning

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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

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Conjunctions – the usage

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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):
[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/despite conjunctions/BECAUSE and BECAUSE OF (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]BECAUSE – video explanation[/su_button]

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Conjunctions – quizzes and games

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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.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/despite conjunctions/Despite quiz (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Conjunctions – quiz and Math pop game[/su_button]

Hope, want and would like: learn the verbs
Hope, want and would like: learn the verbs

Hope, want and would like belong into the group of verbs which are followed by the infinitive. If you click the link above you can see a complete solution for these verbs for intermediate learners of English. In this post we would like to teach how to use only the three verbs HOPE, WANT and WOULD LIKE so it is suitable for elementary learners of English.

We are not going to explain the differences in meaning as these are very small and the best way about them is by consulting a bilingual dictionary. In this post we would like to deal with the grammar of these three verbs (they are followed by the infinitive with TO). There are two games, a mind map and a worksheet to practise or learn the given grammar point.

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Verbs followed by TO infinitive – graphic

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The verbs WANT, HOPE and WOULD LIKE are followed by TO and infinitive. See the mind map below:
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HOPE want would like mind map
If you are a teacher, you can ask your students to use the mind map above and make as many sentences as they are capable of. Of course, they will have to add some words to start and finish the sentences.
The second graphic features three jokes which contain the target structures and then the students should write their own jokes using the structures given.

hope would like and hope jokes

Write your own jokes

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Verbs followed by TO infinitive – games

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In the following two games the students have a unique opportunity to practise the verb patterns with the verbs WANT, HOPE and WOULD LIKE. The first game is called Math Pop. Your task is to put the words into the correct order and then, if you have more than 70% correct answers, you have to pop as few balloons with the correct numbers as possible. Good luck

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/hope_want_wouldlike/Sequencing hope (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Verb patterns – Math pop[/su_button]

The second game is called Tic-Tac-Toe. Your task is to drag the words into the correct places and then win the game. Place the crosses into such places to have three in a row. There is just one way to win the game. Can you find it?

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/hope_want_wouldlike/Hope quiz drag tic tac toe (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Verb patterns – tic tac toe[/su_button]

Indirect questions: explanation of English grammar
Indirect questions: explanation of English grammar

When students hear the phrase indirect questions, they get scared. But actually this is one of the easiest grammar points in English. The only thing you have to watch out for is that if a sentence starts with a certain phrase (Do you know or Could you tell me etc.) you have to use the word order for an affirmative sentence. To put it simply, after the aforementioned phrases do not make questions.

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To help you master this grammar there is a mind map, a video and several games in this post.

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Indirect questions – video

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The following video is based upon BBC learning English recording. To make it easier for learners of English to follow I have added the text and illustrations.

We recommend that you watch the video and stop the recording every time there is a task and answer the task before MASA does. It is a great fun and a superb way to learn English.

If you want to watch it full screen, click here:
[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/indirect questions/Grammar challenge_indirect questions_film (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Indirect questions video[/su_button]
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Indirect questions – mind map

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The following mind map tries to show the rules for indirect questions in a graphical form. As you can see each indirect question has to start with a phrase signalling that it is an indirect question. Then you use a question word or IF/WHETHER (if there is no WH.. word) and the word order of a normal statement.

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indirect-questions-explanation

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Indirect questions – games

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Now it is time to practise what you have learnt in the following games. The first one is a quiz with two games. If you answer the quiz correctly you can play the games called Angry Farmer and Math Pop. Both the quiz and the games are in HTML5 so you can play them on your mobile phones.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/indirect questions/indirect questions_quiz (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Indirect questions Quiz[/su_button]

The second game is in Flash and it will play only on your desktop. It is the notorious On target game. If you choose the correct option you will be given a chance to shoot the bad ducks. Moreover, you can get a bonus if you shoot one of the bottles on the sides. Enjoy.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/indirect questions/indirect questions on Target.swf” target=”blank” background=”#17ad38″]Indirect questions On Target[/su_button]
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Vocabulary videos

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On Youtube we have created a new channel which contains all the vocabulary videos we have created. Here are some of them. So do not miss them:
You can learn the words connected with the environment at http://youtu.be/PbBR1sNc6C4
There is a vocabulary video introducing the Town features at http://youtu.be/5Plh_LBjwks
At http://youtu.be/c0T5j-5MEg8 you can learn some vocabulary to speak about Plants in English.
For young learners we have some names of Animals at http://youtu.be/wb6Ctlvz0Ys
If you want to learn more vocabulary on Sports you can go to http://youtu.be/14_5rLiIAm0 and learn the names of Winter Olympics sports
At http://youtu.be/9IWZb61DG1M you can learn Clothes Vocabulary
Furniture vocabulary is presented at http://youtu.be/7VOpE1n74h0
One of the most difficult parts for learners of English to learn are personal qualities.
To help you with this, you can try the video at http://youtu.be/3KisHI5O6WY

Possessive case explanation
Possessive case explanation

This is another post in my series of simple grammar explanations for elementary and beginner learners of English. In this post I try to explain the usage of the possessive ‘s and ‘. There is a mind map and several exercises to check the students’ understanding of the grammar.

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Possessive case – mind map

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possessive-case-explanation

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Possessive case – games

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If you think you understand the grammar, it is time to check out your understanding in the following games.

The first game is in HTML5 and you can play it on any mobile device you like. Your task is to pass the quiz and if you get more than 70% of all your answers correct you will get a chance to play the game called Angry finches. Good luck.

[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/possessive case/possessive_case_quiz (Web)/index.html” target=”blank” background=”#b52def” size=”9″]Possessive case – Quiz (HTML5)[/su_button]

The second game is in flash and it will play only on your desktop. Your task is to choose the correct option and then win the fencing duel against the computer. Good luck!

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Possessive case – Embed

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There have been several requests from people who wanted to share the games on their website. If you think that the html5 quiz is awesome and you would like to share it with the rest of the world on your site, you can do it by embedding the following code on your site:

<iframe src=”https://engames.eu/possessive case/Possessive case_sharable (Web)/index.html” width=”720″ height=”560″></iframe>

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Vocabulary for learners of English

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Grammar is really important if you want to learn a new language. However, vocabulary is the essence of a language. That is why we have come up with a new site to learn a lot of vocabulary. It is called envocabulary and you can find it at http://www.envocabulary.eu. Enjoy and learn.

Nouns plus prepositions
Nouns plus prepositions

Students often use the wrong prepositions. So I have created this post in hope that this short explanation and practise will help them get at least some of the prepositions correct.
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Many teachers claim that students use prepositions incorrectly because of interference from their mother tongue. It is true in many cases but I think it is not the main reason. I believe that students confuse prepositions mainly because these small words often do not hinder communication. Even if students use the prepositions wrongly most of the time, people can still understand them.

In this post students will get a chance to learn some basic nouns + prepositions. To achieve this goal there is a mind map depicting basic nouns + prepositions. Then, there are three games where you can practise what you have learnt in the mind map.

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Nouns and prepositions – mind map

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Study the following mind map:
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Nouns and prepositions mind map

The basic nouns and prepositions.

You have probably noticed that several words are used with more than one preposition. In some cases there is a difference in meaning and in others there are none. Let’s have a look at these words:
Advantage of / in / to – the meaning is the same.
A relationship / a connection / a contact with – with one noun.
A relationship / a connection / a contact between – between two things or people
An attitude to / towards – both have the same meaning.

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Nouns and prepositions – game

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The first game is called Tower defence and it is in HTML5 so you can play it on any device (provided your browser supports this technology). First you have to solve the quiz and then you have to protect your castle against the invaders. Place your defenders and then click on the coins to earn more money and strengthen your defence. There are many levels. Enjoy, but first pass the quiz 🙂


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En Garde game

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The second game is called En Garde. This game is not supported on most mobile devices as it is in Flash. Your task is to choose the correct answer and then hit your opponent.

The third game is called Teacher invaders and your task is to protect your planet against the invaders. And from time to time you have to complete the sentence with a correct preposition.

Should, ought to and had better – other ways to give advice
Should, ought to and had better – other ways to give advice

Recently I have published a post on giving advice. And our post on modal verbs won the British Council blog award. This post will deal with three ways to express the modal verb SHOULD. The different means are HAD BETTER and OUGHT TO. Both of these have the same meaning as SHOULD.

This grammar point often appears in FCE tests. So if you are planning to take an international certificate in English this post is really important for you.

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OUGHT TO – mind map

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Should ought to and had better mind map

Here are three ways of expressing the same meaning.

Once you learn the three forms correctly you should have no problem with using them. However, remember that SHOULD is much more frequent than either OUGHT TO or HAD BETTER.

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SHOULD – games

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The first game is called Hoop Shoot. Your task is to choose the correct form and then score a basket. You can choose the difficulty too. Enjoy.

The second game is a simple quiz. Your task is to complete the second sentence in such a way that it means the same as the first one. However, you have to use the word in the bracket in your answer. There are 16 sentences and if you pass the quiz you will be given a chance to play the game Indiara. Good luck 🙂

First conditional – grammar explanation for learners of English
First conditional – grammar explanation for learners of English

First conditional is very similar to time clauses. However, I would say that first conditional is easier than time clauses.

First conditional is used if we speak about two possibilities in the future. After the conjunction IF we use present simple tense and in the other clause we use WILL. You can see the explanation in the mind map below and then you can try a quiz to practise this simple grammar.

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First conditional – mind map

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The most important thing to remember is, that you cannot use WILL after IF.

First conditional mind map

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First conditional – game

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In this game you have to solve the quiz first and then you can play the game Visual memory.
In this game you see some coloured squares and your task is to remember them and later click on them. While the game is quite easy at the beginning, it soons becomes really difficult and my best score is 420 points. Can you do better?

Future – will or going to
Future – will or going to

There are many ways to speak about future in English. We have already dealt with two ways here. In the first blog we tried to distinguish between Will and MAY and Might on the basis of certainty that an event will happen.
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In this post I would like to demonstrate the difference between WILL and BE GOING TO. BE GOING TO is used when we speak about our plans while WILL is used for decisions made at the moment of speaking.

To give you a better chance to understand the difference between the two tenses there is an interactive video (based on BBC Grammar challenge), a mind map and two games.
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Future tenses – interactive video

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I have used the BBC Grammar challenge twice before (Definite Articles and in ED and ING Adjectives) and in both cases I turned the original radio recording into a video. This time I went one step further. The video is interactive and you have to react to the tasks.
Watch the video and answer the questions. If you answer correctly the video will continue. If you answer wrongly you will hear the part again. Give it a try.

[su_spacer][su_button url=”https://engames.eu/future/will_going_to/will and going to_grammar challenge (web)/index.html” target=”blank”]WILL and BE GOING TO – interactive video[/su_button]

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Future tenses – mind map

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The following mind map shows the form of the two tenses and their usage. This mind map might not be suitable for everyone but the visual learners will profit a lot.
Will and be going to mind map
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Future tenses – games

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The first game is the easier one. Your task is to choose the correct form (WILL or GOING TO) and if your answer is correct you can shoot all the bad ducks. If you shoot one of the bottles you will get a bonus. Good luck.
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[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/future/will_going_to/will_goingto_ontarget.swf” target=”blank”]WILL and BE GOING TO – On Target[/su_button]
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In the second game you have to write the correct future form (WILL or GOING TO). If you get more than 60% of all the forms correct, you can play the game Hot Race. Enjoy.
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[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/future/will_going_to/will and going to quiz_hot race (web)/index.html” target=”blank”]WILL and BE GOING TO – Hot Race[/su_button]
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Future tenses in English – share

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If you do not have an internet connection at school, you can download the video and online quiz here. Unpack the files and find the index.html and play the quiz.

Future – all games and activities

If or when – choose the right word
If or when – choose the right word

I remember struggling with this grammar when I was at secondary school. As it is possible to translate the words IF and WITH with the same word in my mother tongue I couldn’t see the difference in English.

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To help my students avoid this problem I have created the following mind map and several games. I hope they will help you too.

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WHEN or IF – mind map

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The basic difference between the words IF and WHEN is, that the word IF is used if you choose between two options. On the other hand the word WHEN is used when you speak about a time period after some decision or action. Have a look at the mind map below.
When if mind map

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WHEN or IF – games

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The first game is called Speedway race. Your task is to complete the sentences with WHEN or IF. If you succeed the computer will let you play the game. Your task is to avoid as many cars as possible. One of my students managed to score 50,000 points and then I had to stop him. The game is very addictive.
[su_spacer][su_button url=”https://engames.eu/when_if/when_if_race (web)/index.html” target=”blank”]IF or WHEN – Speedway Race[/su_button]
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The second game is called Hoopshoot.
Your task is to choose the correct option and then hit the basket with the ball. Good luck.
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[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/when_if/when_if_hoopshoot.swf” target=”blank”]IF or WHEN – Hoop shoot game[/su_button]

Infinitive of purpose
Infinitive of purpose

This is one of the easiest grammar points for the Czech students because in their mother tongue there exists a structure which is similar to infinitive of purpose. Because of this, I am not going to spend too much time and energy on this grammar point.

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There is just a mind map explaining and demonstrating the infinitive of purpose and a game where you can practise the grammar.
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Infinitive of purpose – mind map

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Infinitive of purpose is used if you want to say why you did or do something.
Infinitive of purpose - mind map
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Infinitive of purpose – a game

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In the following game you have to match the beginning and the end of the sentence. Then you have to rewrite the first sentence using the infinitive of purpose. If you pass the test you will have a chance to play the game Speedway racing. I have managed 6,732 points. Will you be better than me?

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[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/infinitive of purpose/infinitive_purpose_race (web)/index.html” target=”blank”]Infinitive of purpose – quiz and game[/su_button]
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There is just one game this time as I feel that this grammar is very easy and you do not need to practise it a lot. If you feel differently leave a comment and if there are a lot of comments demanding more games and quizzes I will gladly add them.

Past perfect tense – explanation and a mind map
Past perfect tense – explanation and a mind map

Last week I was teaching past perfect in one of my classes and suddenly one of the students exclaimed: “Finally we are learning something new.” And by new she meant useful as well.
I am not sure how useful this tense might be for people who want to speak English but it is certainly very handy for students who want to read in English a lot as past perfect tense comes up quite frequently in reading.
Once again, if you want to use and form past perfect tense correctly you need to know past participles.. If you are not sure about them, follow the link and learn them.

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Past perfect – mind map

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This mind map tries to explain the form and the usage of the past perfect tense.
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Past perfect tense mind map
If you think you understand past perfect tense, it is high time to practise the tense in the following exercises and games.

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Past perfect – games

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There is just one game to practise past perfect tense. It is called Penalty and to be able to play this game you need to read the following story first:

Jane story to practise past perfect tense

Read the story before you play the game

And now try the game called penalty. Read each sentence and on the basis of the story above decide which tense should be used. If you choose the correct tense you will be given a chance to kick a penalty.
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Past perfect – penalty

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[su_button url=”https://engames.eu/past perfect tense/past perfect penalty_game.swf” target=”blank” background=”#f56b68″ size=”7″ desc=”The game is in Flash”]The GAME[/su_button]

Separable and not separable phrasal verbs
Separable and not separable phrasal verbs

This morning I was preparing a presentation for one of my classes on separable and not separable phrasal verbs and suddenly an interesting pattern appeared. It seems that the fact that the particle is separable can be guessed according to the particle that is used. I am not sure whether it works all the time, but it certainly worked for all the phrasal verbs I had to cover with my lower intermediate class.
The rule is quite simple: If the phrasal verb is transitive, it is not separable if there are two particles or the particles AFTER and WITH are used. If there are other particles, the phrasal verbs are separable.
It might seem really complicated but if you have a look at the mind map bellow, it is quite easy.

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Phrasal verbs – mind map

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Separable and not separable phrasal verbs

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Phrasal verbs – games

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I am glad if you feel that you can understand the grammar now. However, it is more important to be able to use the grammar correctly than to understand it. That is why I have prepared two games for you to check your understanding.
The first game is called Darts. Your task is to choose a correct (or incorrect) option and click on it at the moment you think that you will get most points.

[su_lightbox src=”https://engames.eu/Phrasal_verbs_02/darts.swf”][su_button] Click Here to play the game – Phrasal verbs – Darts [/su_button][/su_lightbox]

The second game is called On target. Once again, your task is to choose the correct or incorrect option and then shoot as many bad ducks as you can.

[su_lightbox src=”https://engames.eu/Phrasal_verbs_02/on target phrasal verbs.swf”][su_button] Click Here to play the game – Phrasal verbs – on Target [/su_button][/su_lightbox]
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Phrasal verbs – Conclusion

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If you are more interested in the meaning and usage of phrasal verbs you should certainly try our other post on phrasal verbs. It is a short story about Fred and Betty and you will certainly learn some of the verbs there too.
Please, let us know what you think about this new rule.

Passive voice
Passive voice

To learn Passive voice it is necessary to know the past participles. If you do not know the past participles go to our post on Past participle and learn the irregular verbs first. Once you do not have any problems with past participles, it is time to learn the Passive voice in English.
Passive voice is used if the subject (the thing before the verb) does not do the action described by the verb. Then you have to insert the verb “TO BE” in the correct form in front of the verb in past participle.
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Passive – graphical presentation

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First there is a mind map describing the form of the passive.
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passive-voice

The second graphic clearly shows the usage of passive voice: Your task is to write two sentences under each picture using present simple tense and past simple. The sentences in the first column should be in active voice and the sentences in the second column should be in passive voice.

passive demonstration

See how passive is formed


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Passive – games

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Here you have a chance to learn the passive through games. Play each game at least twice and then I think that you will understand the basic rules of passives.
The first game is a simple online quiz. Try to fill in the verbs in the correct form.

Passive – online quiz

The second game is called Hoop shoot. Once again, choose the correct form and then stop the sliders in the center.
[su_lightbox src=”https://engames.eu/Passive/passive_hoopshoot.swf”][su_button] Click Here to play the game – Passive Hoop Shoot [/su_button][/su_lightbox]

Second conditional – a simple explanation of a difficult grammar point
Second conditional – a simple explanation of a difficult grammar point

Several weeks ago I published a post on Conditionals. In the post, I tried to cover all the conditionals in one mind map and I think that I succeeded.
However, the post was unnecessarily complicated for lower level students. Therefore I created a simpler one for lower intermediate students who need to know only the second conditional. Here you can see the result.

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Second conditional – mind map

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The mind map very simply depicts the form and usage of the second conditional.
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Second conditional mind map
Second conditional is that simple 🙂