A nominal clause is a group of words that performance the same function as a noun. They can be the subject or object of a sentence; Example: Families are getting smaller (= subject) // The UN estimates that by 2030 the world will need 50% more food. (= object)

Nominal clauses include clauses which follow that, if/whether, and questions.

ARSENIO’S ESL PODCAST | SEASON 5 EPISODE 135 | Grammar | Impersonal Passive

We use the impersonal passive to present information in a more formal way. The structure is used with verbs of perception such as think, know, say, understood, expect, see, and conclude.

It is known that competition helps investment.

It can be seen that this method is the most successful.

The first part of the sentence is passive and the second part remains the same as the original base sentence.

It is expected that rock launches will increase.

Rocket launches will increase.


We’re back with a special review of something that I had already recovered in the previous season. There’s no harm in reviewing! So, with that being said, more emphasis can be placed on the result of unreal past conditionals using the following inverted construction; had + subject + (not) + past participle.

Had upbringing been taken into account, the importance given to genetics may have been lessened.

Had they not been raised in such an unstable environment, the twins may not have had such propensity for crime.

This can also be a useful structure for commenting on the results of someone else’s research;

The research suggests that had the group received a better education, they wouldn’t have gone on to exhibit criminal tendencies.

Use the prompts to write inverted conditional sentences.

  1. negative influence of her peers / might not develop criminal tendencies

I’d ague that _____________________________________________________________________.

2. Roberts not be labeled a criminal / he not go on to a life of crime

Lebert would argue that __________________________________________________________.

3. subjects raised in a more stable environment / they cause fewer problems at school.

It seems highly likely that _________________________________________________________.

4. they grow up in a more affluent area / far less likely to turn to crime.

This implies that __________________________________________________________________.

5. the study be conducted today / results may be different

Critics argue that __________________________________________________________________.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 130 – Developing Vocabulary – Phrasal Verbs: Communication

We’re back with some phrasal verbs of communication! It’s time to match the phrasal verbs in bold with the explanations 1-10.

In a university staff meeting, Henry brought up the subject whether computers should replace traditional exams (pen and paper). He pointed out that nowadays most people don’t write everything down by hand. When Henry was finished speaking, Arsenio picked up on his point, mentioning that some of his students could hardly write anymore because they used computers for all their schoolwork. However, quire a few people spoke out in favor of the traditional-style tests, especially Lenita. But every time Lenita started saying something, Arsenio would cut in and add another point himself. Because the conversation was quite heated, it was difficult for most people to make out what Lenita and Arsenio were saying. Lenita got really angry with Arsenio’s tone. She felt that he was talking down to her, but he claimed he was just trying to spell out his thoughts. What became clear was that neither side could get through to the other, and so they all decided to turn to another important issue.

Gateway B2+
  1. change from one subject to another
  2. make someone understand what you’re trying to say
  3. tell someone something
  4. talk to someone as if you think they are not as clever or as important as you
  5. start discussing
  6. state your opinion firmly and publicly to protest against or defend something
  7. interrupt
  8. understand someone or something with difficulty
  9. explain something very clearly, often because someone has not understood
  10. talk in more detail about something that someone has mentioned.


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 106 – Grammar – Making Comparisons while Speaking

Yes! We’re back with making comparisons! Instead of doing the basic grammar stuff that I normally do, in this podcast (and blog) I’ll be talking about how you can make comparisons while speaking.


In spoken and written English, people often use the + comparative + the + comparative to mean, “if is more X, it will be more Y.”

Establishing the mass transit system is a good start for Bangkok. The sooner, the better. (it is best to start right away).

The longer I waited, the harder it was to change (as time passes, it became harder to change.)

Comparative forms of compound adjectives.

If the first word of the compound is an adjective (open minded, long lasting), use –er or more to make the comparative form. If the first word is not an adjectives (badly behaved), use more.

First, at the bottom, are the lower-level physiological needs.

I’d like a more expensive-looking watch.

A more culturally-driven approach is necessary.

Complete the sentences with more, the, or -er. If nothing is needed in a blank, write X.

  1. A problem for people is that ___________ messier their homes are, ______________ agitated they feel.
  2. Money can make you happy for a short time, but _____________ long ________-lasting happiness comes from friends and family.
  3. To use your time most wisely, experts advise us to do our _________________high____________-priority tasks earlier in the day, when we are more alert.
  4. According to a theory, ________________high______________a need is on the pyramid, ______________valuable it is.
  5. To overcome their problems, most people need the support of their family and friends. ______________more,_____________better.

Complete the sentences with your own ideas and opinions. Use comparative forms with The……the.

  1. In my opinion, the richer you are,……
  2. The older you are,…….
  3. The bigger your family is,……
  4. The more stressful your job is,….
  5. The more beautiful/handsome you are……

Complete the questions with the comparative form of the compound adjective in the parentheses.

  1. Would you do a ______________(low-paying) job if it was really interesting?
  2. If you could improve one thing about yourself, would you rather be ___________(good-looking) or _____________(well educated)?
  3. Are you _______________(open-minded) now than when you were a child?
  4. Which is a ________________(high-priority) need for you, your career or family?
  5. Which experience do you think is _____________(life-changing): starting university, starting a new career, or starting a family?


Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 78 – Grammar – Advanced Future Forms

Advanced grammar for the future?! Oh, yes! You guys will be happy about this. This is the upper-intermediate version, so check out the rules, tune in and do some of these exercises down below!

Present continuous for future

We use the present continuous to talk about future arrangements; plans that have been confirmed.

Experts from around the world are meeting next month.

Present simple for future

We use the present simple to talk about the future when the action is part of a timetable or routine.

My train leaves at 9pm tomorrow.

Future continuous

We use the future continuous to talk about activities in progress at a particular time in the future. The activities are in progress and so they are unfinished.

At this time tomorrow, he’ll be flying to the US.

Future simple

We use the future perfect to talk about activities that will be finished by a certain time in the future.

I will have gone to bed by midnight.

We often use the preposition by with the future perfect. It means ‘some time before.’

Future perfect continuous

We use the future perfect continuous to talk about how long an activity will be in progress before a particular moment in the future.

By 8pm, I’ll have been revising history for five hours.

Be on the verge/point

We use be on the verge/point of to talk about something that is going to happen soon.

They are on the verge of winning the national championship.

Today’s podcast on Advanced Future Forms

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: IELTS Listening Skills – Following a Conversation

Woohoo! This is the first of its kind! I’m super excited to debut this, and I’m even more excited that this will be in YouTube, podcast, and Facebook live form. Now, you guys will get this on Facebook live before anything else. The podcast will debut Friday and the YouTube video will debut shortly after the Facebook live. So, today we’re going over the basics!

Cooking ClassFocusOther information
The Food Studiohow to (1) ________
and cook with
seasonal products
– small clases
– also offers (2)_________
– clients who return get
a (3)_______ discount
Bond’s Cookery Schoolfood that is
– includes recipes to
strengthen your
– they have a free
every Thursday.
The (7) _________ Centremainly
(8)_________ food
– located near the
– a special course in
skills with a (10)
________ is
sometimes available.



Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 4 – Episode 46 – Grammar – Adverb Clauses of Concession

You are going to learn how to use adverb clauses to present contrasting information and show the order of events, how to give reasons in a discussion or debate, and how to use your tone of voice to express disagreement politely. You are then going to use these skills to discuss the results of an experiment.

Adverb Clauses of Concession; Reduced Adverb Clauses of Time

Adverb clauses of concession use words such as though, although, even though, whereas, and while to add contrasting information to a sentence. An adverb clause is a dependent clause and must go with a main clause with a subject and a verb.

  • We use though, although, and even though to show ideas that are contrasting but related.

Although we might know what’s happening, we’re not one-hundred percent sure.

  • We use whereas and while to compare two different people, things, or situations.

While the polygraph measures stress, this new technology does a lot more.

Reduced adverb clauses of time.

If an adverb clause of time (after, before, when, while) has the same subject as the main clause, you can reduce the adverb clause by removing the subject and putting the verb in the -ing form.

While visiting these islands, I went on an unprecedented excursion. (reduced form).

After I returned home, lots of people asked me how it went. (can’t be reduced)