Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEFL Idioms Part V

Welcome back, everyone! I’m bringing to you today another special — TOEFL IDIOMS! I haven’t done this in some time, but here’s the next round!

To do
something badly or to savesome time
The architect cut corners on the bridge’s construction, which is why it eventually collapsed.
To go easy on
I heard Rachel’s dad is sick, so we should
cut her some slack on this group project.
Feeling sad or depressed. Erika’s been feeling blue every since her
boyfriend broke up with her.
Finding needle in ahaystack Virtually
impossible to
These days, finding a job that doesn’t
require experience is like trying to find aneedle in a haystack.
Get some
shut eye
Sleep. I have a big exam tomorrow, so I need toget some shut eye.
Go the
Put in extra
Kelsey has the highest grades in our class since she always goes the extra mile with homework assignments.
Hang in
Be patient. I know it’s hard waiting for the exam
results, but you just need to hang in
Hard up Lack money. Ellie knew I was hard up, so she paid for
my coffee.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Additional Relative Clauses Exercise

Hello, everyone! As promised, here’s the second installment of the podcast/blog I did WAYYYY earlier today. I wanted to go more in-depth with clauses because I know a few of you may have not understood.

Extreme ironing is an unusual sport which was invented in 1997 by an Englishman whose name is Phil Shaw. He had to do ironing at home, but he preferred to go rock climbing. So he decided to combine the two things. Of course, ironing and climbing are two activities that don’t have a lot in common. but now people do it all over the world. When Phil was in New Zealand, he started an organization called Extreme Ironing International. Diving, skiing, skating, and parachuting are some of the other sports which people have combined with ironing. Underwater, in the air and on top of the mountains are just some of the strange places where people have done this sport. Ben Gibbons and John Roberts are two Englishmen whose adventure with extreme ironing became a short film, Extreme Ironing to Mount Everest.


Second Task

Use the following relative pronouns to complete the sentences: who, which, whose, when, where, that

  1. The winner of the 100m dash in the olympics is the person ________ finishes first.
  2. A referee is the person ___________ job is the control the game.
  3. 2016 is the year ___________ Euro was played.
  4. A Tatami is the place __________ you do Judo.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 52 – Grammar – Defining Relative Clauses

Defining relative clauses are finally here! These types of sentence variations are my absolute favorite, so I wanted to take some time uploading it to ensure you understand fully.

Read the sentences. The words in bold are relative pronouns. Use them to complete the rules 1-5.

A. He’s the player who has the world record for scoring the most goals.

B. He needed the lucky shirt which he had given away.

C. There are players whose egos have stopped them from winning a championship.

D. 2002 was the year when South Korea and Japan hosted the World Cup.

E. That wasn’t the only superstition (that) my parents had.

F. Arsenio is the teacher that is better known as AJ.

G. That’s the place where we had our first date.


  1. We use who and that with people.
  2. We use which and that with things.
  3. We use whose to talk about possessions.
  4. We use where with places.
  5. We use when with times.

Choose the correct alternative. If you think both are correct, choose both.

  1. American Football is a game which/- many people play.
  2. A stadium is a place that/where you can watch sports like rugby and baseball.
  3. The people who/- do sports are called athletes.
  4. She is the person who/- walked across the street.
  5. January is the month when/which pollution is very high in Bangkok.
  6. A Quarterback is a person who/that throws the football.
  7. Brazil is a country where/which beaches are very popular.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 51 – Pronunciation/Speaking Skills – Content Words

“Content” words carry the most meaning in a sentence so receive more stress. They include questions words, nouns, most verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and negative auxiliary verbs (don’t, won’t, hasn’t, etc).

“Function” words give a sentence its grammatically correct form. They carry little meaning so are unstressed. They include articles, pronouns, prepositions, conjunctions, the verb be, and affirmative auxiliary verbs (do, can, did, etc).

Listen to the audio in the podcast down below to understand what words are stressed.

  1. Doctors can help people with phobias.
  2. Alice saw the little snake and screamed loudly.
  3. I am helping my friend with his fear of water.
  4. I didn’t know you were afraid of flying.
  5. Phobias are powerful but very treatable.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 48 – Grammar – Have something done

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, people! I’m bringing you something even more interested since we’re getting into the more difficult stages.

Subject + have or get + object + past participle (by + agent)

I get my eyes tested once a year. (present simple).

She is having her furnitured deliver to her hour. (present continuous)

He had his hair cut. (past simple)

We’ll get our photo taken. (will)


We use have something done to talk about actions which we don’t do ourselves, somebody or something does them for us. We often pay them to do this action. Get is slightly more informal.

We didn’t purchase this furniture ourselves. We had our parents invest in it, too.

Put the words in order to make questions.

  1. cut often you do get How hair your?
  2. yourself fix Can you the computer your?
  3. ever Have delivered your house to hamburgers had you?

Rewrite these sentences using have something done in the correct tense. If we know who did the action, include them with by.

  1. They’re moving house on Saturday.

We _________________________________________.

2. They’re going to service my sister’s car next week.

My sister ___________________________________.

3. Her parents pay for her internet bill.

She _________________________________________.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Part III (Listening) Mini-Test

Welcome back to some live coaching, everyone! I’m Arsenio, as always, and I’m bringing to you today another mini-test — this time from Part III.

Now practice what you have learnt at the actual test speed

1.      What does the man want the woman to do?

(A) Visit some customers

(B) Send some packages

(C) Attend a meeting

(D) Give him some names


2.      What is the man’s problem?

(A) He cannot find the post office.

(B) He has to buy a present.

(C) He does not know the woman’s address.

(D) He is late for a meeting.


3.      What does the woman request?

(A) A list of addresses

(B) The time of a delivery

(C) The location of a meeting

(D) A map of the city


4.      What does the woman want?

(A) To share a ride

(B) To go shopping

(C) To borrow Eric’s car

(D) To look at new cars


5.      What is the woman’s problem?

(A) She has missed the bus.

(B) Her car is broken.

(C) She is late for work.

(D) She does not know the area well.


6.      What will the man do?

(A) Visit the woman’s company

(B) Show the woman to the bus stop

(C) Repair the woman’s car

(D) Drive the woman to the central office


7.      What does the man suggest the woman should do?

(A) Visit the theatre

(B) Move her vehicle

(C) Lock her car

(D) Enter the building


8.      What does the woman ask?

(A) Directions to a city park

(B) Assistance reading a sign

(C) Information about a theatre

(D) The location of available parking


9.      Why was the sign not visible?

(A) It was around a corner.

(B) It has fallen over.

(C) It was hidden by a tree.

(D) It was behind a van.


10.    What is the problem with the man’s watch?

(A) It needs a new battery

(B) The glass is broken

(C) It does not keep time correctly

(D) It is expensive to repair


11.    What will cause a delay?

(A) There is a problem with the battery.

(B) A strap must be ordered.

(C) New watches have not yet arrived.

(D) The watch must be sent out of town.


12.    When will the watch finally be ready?

(A) On Monday

(B) On Tuesday

(C) On Wednesday

(D) On Thursday

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Special – TOEIC – Listening Part IV – Mini-Test

Now practice what you have learnt at actual test speed with question 1- 12.

1.      Where is the announcement taking place?

(A) In a college classroom.

(B) At a company board meeting.

(C) At a computer conference.

(D) In a department store.


2.      What is the main purpose of the announcement?

(A) To summarize sales volumes.

(B) To suggest areas for research.

(C) To advertise a product.

(D) To outline a business plan.


3.      What is suggested about the EL401 standard desktop computer?

(A) It has become less popular.

(B) It has risen in price.

(C) It is popular with college students.

(D) It is exceptionally reliable


4.      According to the announcement, why should discarded items be put          in bags?

(A) To keep city streets clean

(B) To reduce waste collection costs

(C) To make materials safe to handle

(D) To avoid attracting hungry animals


5.      On what day are leaves and grass collected?

(A) On Tuesday

(B) On Wednesday

(C) On Thursday

(D) On Friday


6.      By what time should bags be placed outside?

(A) By 7.00

(B) By 7.30

(C) By 8.00

(D) By 8.30


7.      Who most likely is making this announcement?

(A) An automobile salesperson

(B) A police officer

(C) A weather reporter

(D) An insurance company representative


8.      According to the announcement, what should drivers do in poor                weather conditions?

(A) Adjust their driving to road conditions

(B) Listen to the weather report

(C) Plan the shortest possible route

(D) Pull into the side of the road


9.      When are listeners invited an Auto and Marine agent?

(A) When roads are blocked

(B) When safety tips are unclear

(C) When a vehicle needs maintenance

(D) When a mobile telephone is not working


10.    What is the purpose of this announcement?

(A) To announce some important computer improvements

(B) To apologize for some incorrect information

(C) To explain the cause of a computer system failure

(D) To describe how to send company e-mail


11.    What has caused a problem?

(A) The installation of computer games

(B) The opening of an infected file

(C) The failure to install company software

(D) The sharing of computer passwords


12.    What are computer users reminded to do?

(A) Keep a record of all passwords

(B) Open attachments only from familiar senders

(C) Install a better security system

(D) Purchase new computers

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 45 – Passive Voice (Intermediate)

We have a difficult ESL podcast/blog in store for today, so I want you guys to brace yourself because we’re going back over the passive voice!

Listen/read the sentences. Which sentence is not in the passive?

  1. The prizes are given to the athletes.
  2. The Nobel Peace prize was won by Barack Obama.
  3. Nelson Mandela won the Nobel Peace prize back in the 80’s.
  4. These inventions won’t be used much.
  5. Lots of interesting research is being done at the moment.
  6. Her phone has been taken.


We use the passive when we are interested mainly in the action.

We use the passive when it isn’t obvious who does or did the action.

When we use the passive we don’t always know the person who does the action.

Add one word in each sentence to make a correct passive sentence. After that, write which tense each sentence is in.

  1. The radio was invented by Marconi. Past simple.
  2. Many new phones ___________ been invented in the 21st century. ______________.
  3. Many jobs ___________ be done by robots in 2045. _________________.
  4. Velcro, penicillin and the microwave oven ____________ invented by accident. _________________.
  5. Millions of dollars ____________ spent on war every year.________________.
  6. Football is _________________ by millions of people on TV each weekend.
  7. The novel The Bourne Identity ___________ written by Robert Ludlum in 1980. _________________.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 43 – Vocabulary – Collocations with Get

We’re going over get collocations today! Lots of words are paired with “get,” and here are some of them.

  • Get angry
  • Get in trouble
  • Get behind you
  • Get started
  • Get good grades
  • Get help
  • Get the message
  • Get upset
  • Get in shape
  • Get wet

Complete the sentences with an expression from the Vocabulary skill box.

  1. I think this woman has been hurt. Can you ________________?
  2. If you can’t help her, just say no. She’ll _______________.
  3. Please don’t ________________. I didn’t mean to drop your phone.
  4. I need to join a gym so I can _______________.
  5. Those two always ______________ when they play together.
  6. Let’s __________________ soon. I want to finish by 7 p.m.

Complete the opinions with an expression from the box.

Vocabulary: get a job, get engaged, get home, get lost, get married, get permission, get ready, get the impression.

  1. I think when you ________________, it’s important to have a big wedding.
  2. I think it’s impossible to _________________ with maps and Google maps on our phones.
  3. It shouldn’t take anyone more than 20 minutes to ________________ for the game.
  4. I usually _________________ around 6pm on weekdays by train.

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 42 – Speaking – Agreeing/Disagreeing (Intermediate)

Welcome back to another episode and welcome back to my first played audio in a WHILE! The last time I did this, it was in season 1. So, with that being said, we’re going to be talking about famous cities and discussing whether or not they are good vacation destinations.

Vocabulary Words

  • Air quality
  • Cost of living
  • Crime rate
  • Things to see and do
  • Value for money
  • Weather

Agreeing and Disagreeing

When discussing ideas in seminars, normally you have to use formal language. Here are some phrases in terms of agreeing.

Formal: I agree. I like that idea. You have a point.

Informal: That’s what I think. That’s a great idea.

The key to disagreeing is to be polite. You can do this by using a nice tone or adding words to make your statements sound better.

I disagree.

I’m sorry, but I disagree.

That’s not always true (not one of my favorites and can produce an argument).

I don’t think that’s always true.

I’m not sure about that.

Listening exercise

Listen to the students discussing vacation destination and complete the chart down below.

Viktor Jung-Su


Points mentioned