Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 186 | Grammar | Gerunds & Infinitives

Here’s another rundown of a Gerunds and Infinitives! Make sure you tune into the blog so look at all the examples to improve your writing today!

We use the gerund (-ing form):

  • after prepositions.

He’d been thinking about buying a new laptop for some time.

  • as the subject or object of a sentence.

Moving to the countryside was the best thing we ever did.

She suggested going out for some food after the class.

  • After some noun phrases, e.g. It’s not worth, It’s no good, There’s no point (in), have difficulty/problems/trouble (in/with)

They’re having some difficulty answering the questions.

  • After verbs of liking or disliking, e.g. like, can’t stand, hate, love, enjoy.

I can’t stand having to wait in long queues at the supermarket.

  • After certain verbs e.g. admit, avoid, consider, deny, feel like, imagine, miss, practice, resent, suggest

We considered going to the USA, but we decided to go to Canada instead.

If the subject of the main clause and the gerund are different, we need to use an object, object pronoun or possessive adjective.

They can’t stand people complaining all the time.

I can’t imagine us being at different schools.

We use the infinitive with to:

  • to express purpose or intention.

She worked very hard to get a place at university.

  • after the verb to be for orders and arrangements.

You are to place all metal objects in the tray.

  • after a number of adjectives.

He was thrilled to be invited to the party.

  • After too, enough, the first, the last.

There wasn’t enough time to meet everyone.

  • after certain verbs, e.g. afford, agree, aim, decide, deserve, expect, happen, hesitate, hope, pretend, refuse.

The prime minister hesitated to give an answer to the question.

  • after certain nouns, e.g. attempt, decision, desire, determination, failure, permission, right, willingness.

It was his willingness to come on the trip which surprised me.

Complete the sentences using the correct form of these verbs.

be     enjoy     find     get (x2)     have     hold     receive     study     take    
  1. I came across a recent survey that aimed _______ out what it was that made people seem heroic.
  2. As people get older, they tend to avoid _____ risks as they are more aware of the consequences.
  3. Practice ________ you breath for several minutes if you want to be on the diving team.
  4. I resent ________ asked to stay behind and help if i’m not going to get any credit for it.
  5. I don’t feel like _______ now. Let’s go out instead.
  6. Rock climbing is not for me. Imagine _______ stuck halfway up a cliff.
  7. Don’t hesitate ________ in touch if you need help.
  8. When I took my little brother on the roller coaster, I had to pretend ______ the experience.
  9. I appreciate _______ the opportunity to work with you on this project.
  10. He deserves __________ an award for his bravery, whether he wants one or not.

Podcast

TOEFL iBT | Speaking Part 2 | 1 on 1 Coaching | Grading a Speaking Test #1

Woohoo! Finally someone took it upon themself to submit a recording!  I’m so happy that you guys are utilizing the tools I’m finally giving you, and with that being said, welcome to the first grading of the TOEFL iBT speaking test.  In this podcast, I will critique the small audio he had submitted to me.  Because he did so well, I had to really figure out what areas he could get better in, and that’s exactly what I did in this podcast. I hope you enjoy this!

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 122 | PRONUNCIATION FOR SPEAKING | PROMINENCE IN QUESTIONS

Key words such as nouns and main verbs are usually stressed in English. In direct question with a question word, this question word is stressed, along with other key words. Yes / no questions tend to use rising intonation at the end to show it as a question.

What did you buy? Did it cost a lot?

Polite indirect questions tend to be longer and have reduced stressed on the question heads. Weak forms of the words link together and sounds are left out.

Could you tell me how you decided?

Listen for the key words within the reduced forms of these longer questions.

  1. Listen and read the questions. Identify the key stressed words.
  1. Can you tell me if you bought anything unplanned?
  2. I wonder if I could ask you a few questions?
  3. Can you tell me why you decided to come shopping today?
  4. Can you tell us how these biases can be avoided?
  5. To follow up on that, would you mind telling me how much money you spent on this trip?
  6. So on the basis of what you just said, if i understood correctly, you don’t have a specific budget when you go out shopping….is that right?
  7. Could you please explain what choices you made in terms of actual stores, and what were the determining factors in those choices….

Podcast

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 117 | Reading/Listening | Is Your brain Ready Yet?

Welcome to another reading/listening! Today we’re going to be activating prior knowledge, and the task for you is to write down three stereotypes about teenagers and how they behave. Remember, STEREOTYPES. Share away! And in saying that, the rest of the questions are either on the blog (or down below).

Identifying Main Ideas

Listen to Is your brain ready yet? Complete the article with the headings (a-f)

a. Impulse control under pressure

b. Peak performance and rapid decline

c. Questioning the stereotype

d. Synaptic pruning in the adolescent brain

e. A call for delayed decision-making

f. Hormones, risk, and reward

Podcast

IELTS Speaking | pronunciation | Linking Words

Welcome back to another ESL podcast, all! In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about why linking words is so underrated, as well as pronunciation in general. I might’ve gone over this briefly in a previous podcast (last year), but it’s never bad to review!

On the YouTube video, I will discuss these…

  • Word linking
  • Linking in statements
  • Techniques

Tune into the video and podcast for the reading so that you can follow along!

IELTS Speaking
Podcast

IELTS

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 102 | Vocabulary Preview for Reading | Negatives & Positives

We’re going to switch gears and go to tourism for a couple of segments. What I have below is positives, and your goal is to match them with their negatives. Following that, I have some questions to discuss before the big reading!

  1. slam
  2. disregard
  3. poorer
  4. troubled
  5. detrimental
  6. decay
  7. hostile
  8. ruin
  • growth
  • enhance
  • praise
  • advantageous
  • unconcerned
  • pay attention to
  • better off
  • friendly

Tourism companies should do more to keep their customers happy. Do you agree?

Can tourism create a number of problems for countries which rely on it?

Podcast

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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Season 5 Episode 73 | Reading | Risk-takers: Who Are They?

For the long reading, you’re going to have to listen and answer the questions down below in my podcast. With that being said, you have two tasks: completing the statements with no more than one word (IELTS style) and True, False, or Not Given. Tune in!

  1. Dopamine is only able to fill a cell when the receptor is not ______________.
  2. In a study in New York, participants had to say if they were _________________ about or keen on doing new activities.
  3. The New York research produced similar results to studies conducted on _________.
  4. Dopamine creates a feeling of pleasure which some people find _____________.
  5. Sensation-seeking is a characteristic which causes people to seek ______________in new activities.
  6. Zuckerman’s research suggests the sensation-seeking trait has ______________ key aspects to it.

T/F/NG

Listen again. Are these sentences T, F, or NG?

  1. Risk-taking is a characteristic like sensation-seeking. ____
  2. Whether a person has the sensation-seeking trait is partially decided by person’s biological makeup. ____
  3. A person’s prefrontal cortex is fully formed before they reach adulthood. ____
  4. It is possible to work out when a prefrontal cortex will develop in some children. ____
  5. Women are more likely to take risks in situations they have less experience of. ____
  6. The writer concludes that the causes of risk-taking discussed in the article are definitive. __

Podcast

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Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 5 – Episode 23 – Pronunciation – Linking ‘T’ to ‘Y’ & ‘D’ to ‘Y’

Welcome back to another ESL pronunciation! Today we’re going to be talking about, in the podcast, how to link sounds together.

Using “di-ja” and don-cha.

Remember, it is not necessary to use it in your own speech. It is more important that you recognize common changes like this in the connected speech of others. If you practice saying these forms, however, you will likely get better at identifying them.

Tip: When a word ends in /t/ and the next word begins with /y/, the resulting sound is /tf/, as in choose.

Linking /T/ to /Y/

Don’t_you know?

Haven’t_you heard?

Can’t_you go?

Linking /D/ to /Y/

Did_you know?

Would_you help?

Made_your bed?

Tip: When a word ends in /d/ and the next word begins with /y/, the resulting sound is /dz/, as in job.

  1. Did you go out for dinner?
  2. Where did you go?
  3. What did you order?
  4. Didn’t you like the food?
  5. Did you eat your vegetables?
  6. Why didn’t you call me?
  7. Could you please bring the check?
  8. Would you like dessert?

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 116 – Vocabulary + Speaking – Metaphors – Happiness and Sadness

This is a super interesting podcast and one that’s very highly sought after because people loved it. Nonetheless, tune into ways you can use metaphors of happiness and sadness, as well as the speaking task in my podcast down below.

Complete the metaphors with these words: air, cloud, lift, moon, seventh, up, world

  1. Things are looking _________.
  2. This will __________ your spirits.
  3. I’ve been walking/floating on__________ since I got the news.
  4. She’s over the __________.
  5. They’re on top of the ________/on__________nine/in__________heaven.

These expressions describe sadness.

  1. She’s feeling blue.
  2. Things are looking gloomy/bleak.
  3. I’ve been feeling a bit down/low recently.
  4. My heart sank when I found out.
  5. It cast a shadow over the meal.
  6. She’s in low spirits.
  7. I’m feeling down in the dumps today.

Podcast