Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 73 – Developing Writing – A Formal Email of Complaint

Yes, I want to make sure I get all the specifics out of the way before heading into the upper-echelon levels that will be pretty difficult. The last develop writing podcast and blog scored big, so I decided to do another one. I’m first going to show you useful expressions, then an email, then practice for you. Be sure to send your emails to my Facebook page.

Useful Expressions: Linkers in formal emails and letters

  • Consequence: Therefore, and so, as a result
  • Time and sequence: next, then, after that, finally
  • Contrast: but, although, however, nevertheless
  • Reason: because, as, since
  • Addition, in addition, what is more, furthermore

Dear Sir or Madam,

I’m writing to complain about the goods and service in your store.

On 19th August I bought an e-reader at your store in Guildford. When I arrived home, I removed the e-reader from its box and discovered that the screen was broken. As a result, I took it back to the store the following day. However, the shop assistant told me that I could only have a refund if I returned the e-reader in its original box.

The next day I went back again with the e–reader in its original packaging. This time a different shop assistant told me that I could not have a refund because he said I had broken the screen myself. This was not true. In the end, I had to leave the store with the original, faulty e-reader and without my refund.

I will not go back again to the store in Guildford since the shop assistants there are so rude. I demand a full refund for the faulty e-reader. Furthermore, I would like a written apology for the bad treatment I have received. If I do not hear from you in the next two weeks, I will take my complaint to a Consumer Advice Center.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Gateway B1+

Pretty good complaint, huh? This is how you write it in English, in my podcast, I’ve gone some more things on how to deal with people in these situations.

Now it’s time to write your email. Here’s your scenario.

In July, you ordered two tickets for a concert by your favorite band on the internet. The tickets were very expensive. The concert was suppose to be August 1st, but the tickets only arrived two days after so you couldn’t go.

You rang the ticket company three times before August 1st, but they promised the tickets would arrive on time. Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the ticket company.

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 25 – Pronunciation – Root Forms, Two-Syllable Verbs

Welcome back to another pronunciation podcast, everyone! Grateful to bring you some good stuff today, as usual.  It’s a wonderful Monday morning and I’m hitting this off with some difficult stuff. So, we need to understand how to pronounce and stress the two-syllable noun-verb pairs, first.

Nouns

Conduct……good conduct

Present…….past, present, and future

Record……broke a record

 

Verbs

Conduct……conducts the orchestra

Present……presented the award

Record…..record your message.

 

Verbs with Root Forms

-ceive, clude, cord, dict, duce, fend, fine, pect, port, sent, serve, sume, tain, tend, vent, vert

 

Con –                         de-                            pre-                            re-

Convert                deceive                   preserve                     record

Contain                 deport                     prevent                      receive

 

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 22 – Grammar – Tag Questions

This is officially the first time I’ve gone over tag questions.  Although I don’t use them often, it’s still a useful technique to not only keep the conversation going, but to also get a response.

Tag questions are added to the end of a statement to turn it into a question.  They’re used when the speaker expects the listener to agree.

A negative statement has a positive tag.

The new mall near Chatuchak park doesn’t make much sense, does it?

A positive statement has a negative tag.

This condo is as big as the old condo, isn’t it?

 

The tag has the same tense as the statement.  The verb tense helps you determine what word to use in the tag. 

Present simple / no auxiliary                     do/does                    Your parents live in the city, don’t they?

To be in the simple tense                repeat the main verb               There is an open office plan, isn’t it?

To have as the main verb                 do/does or has/have          He has an office, doesn’t he?

Present continuous                                          are/is                   He is living in the city, isn’t he?

Present Perfect                                               has/have                 He has moved to the suburbs, hasn’t he?

 

Task – Find the mistake in each sentence and correct it.

  1. I prefer having my own condominium, do I? (answer: don’t I?)
  2. My boss has his own office in Pinklao, isn’t he?
  3. You live in the suburbs and work in the city, aren’t you?
  4. You don’t want to live outside the city, doesn’t you?
  5. Your brother is working at a new company, doesn’t he?

Podcast

 

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3: Episode 17 – Pronunciation – Word Stress in Nouns, Verbs, & Numbers

Welcome back to another week and the first pronunciation exercise of November! Today is another activity in terms of repeating what I say.

It’s time to learn about common stress patterns in words with more than one syllable.

Here are some words that I will be talking about in my podcast.

Pronunciation In This Podcast

ivy, IV

decade, decayed

desert, dessert

one person, one percent

tutors, two tours

character, corrector

homesick, home sick

written, retain

history, his story

fifty, fifteen

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 12 – Vocabulary – Synonyms and Partial Synonyms

Welcome back! Here’s another one of those head-scratching lessons that can confuse people.  You have synonyms, and partial synonyms.

Let’s look at some of these words down below and see if we can match some of the synonyms with their partials.

List

Bright, cheerful, clever, difficult, elderly, friendly, glad, happy, hard, intelligent, old, outgoing, slim, social, thin.

Example: Bright – clever – intelligent

Put the words in their categories. 

 

Pronunciation

Based on the stress of the word, I want you to write to enunciate the words above and ask yourself how many syllables each one has.  Example, talkative.  The first syllable is stressed and there are three total.

 

Additional Task

Choose the best alternative.  If there is no difference, choose both.

  1. Don’t call your grandfather old/elderly! It’s more polite to call her old/elderly.
  2. That new teacher in school is really attractive/good-looking.
  3. My friend is always smiling.  She’s a really glad/cheerful person.
  4. You need to eat more.  You look a bit slim/thin to me.
  5. This question is really hard/difficult.
  6. I’m clever/bright enough to do this exercise.

Podcast

 

 

TOEIC Grammar: Double Comparatives & Order of Adverbs

Double comparatives

  • Our nation gets fatter and fatter every year.
  • more and more + adjective :
    The problem is getting more and more difficult to solve.To say that something is increasing all the time.

    We can use comparatives with the definite article the

    The more you say, the worse the situation will be. The more, the merrier.

    To say that two changes happen together.

    Order of Adverbs

    Adverbs that go in mid-position express:

    • frequency: never, rarely, always …
    • certainty: probably, certainly, obviously …
    • degree: nearly, almost, quite …The word order for adverbs in mid-position is as follows:

Tense

Subject

Auxiliary verb

Adverb

Main Verb

Complement

To be in simple tense

I

am

usually

right

Perfect tenses

He

has

already

seen

this film

Modal auxiliary verb

We

can

sometimes

play

tennis

Simple tenses

She

hardly

cooks

dinner

Passive with two auxiliary verbs

He

has

never

been remembered

for his novels

Only and even go just before the words they emphasize. It will only take (only) five minutes.

  • They have even forgotten (even) his name.

Sometimes / sometime / some time

Sometimes: means occasionally

Sometime: means at one moment in the future (it can also mean “one day”)

Let’s have dinner sometime next week.

Some time: means a period of time

She’s lived in Italy for some time, so she speaks Italian quite well.

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