Arsenio’s ESL Podcast: Season 3 – Episode 30 – Vocabulary – Synonyms & Antonyms

Here we go, people! Some more vocabulary is on the board for today! Synonyms and Antonyms are my favorite, and this is why most of you should develop first your synonyms, then find out the opposite meanings.  Again, this can reduce the recycling.

For those of you who do not know, synonyms have similar meanings.  Antonyms have opposite meanings.


Advantage:         Synonym – Benefit;      Antonym – Disadvantage

Wealthier:          Synonym – Richer;       Antonym – Poorer


Put the words below into the five categories.  Make sure you know which one is an antonym and which one is a synonym.

Ancient, current, different to, idealistic, insignificant, like, metropolitan, practical, rural, significant



Similar to






TOEIC Grammar: Determiners & Pronouns

Determiners and pronouns

Point 1 Determiners Definition :

A determiner is a word that is normally used at the beginning of a noun phrase. Determiners include:

  • articles. There are two types of articles: – the definite article: the
    – the indefinite article: a/an
  • possessive adjectives
  • demonstrative adjectives


Some and any are usually followed by plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns and are used as follows:

some cars

any cars

some money

any money

         Some is used:

  • in affirmative sentences: He’s got some books from the library.
  • in offers and requests:Could I have some books, please?
    Why don’t you take some books home with you?

    Any is used:

  • in negatives (not any = no; hardly any; never any): There isn’t any reason to complain.
  • in questions: Have they got any children?
  • in affirmative sentences, any = “no matter which”, “no matter who”,“no matter what”
    You can borrow any of my books.

    Their compounds

    Their compounds, which are always singular, are:

    • someone/somebody, something, somewhere. I have something to say.
    • anyone/anybody, anything, anywhere. Does anybody have the time?
      You may invite anybody to dinner, I don’t mind.  You can invite anyone to dinner.
    • no one/nobody, nothing, nowhere. Homeless people have nowhere to go at night.
    • (everyone/everybody, everything, everywhere).
    • They can be followed by else. There’s nothing else to do.
    • What else do you want to watch?

However, you can also use “someone’s car/somebody’s coming” in contraction form to show position or just using the LV “is.”


Also, “else” is one of those words that’s very difficult to understand, simply because there’s not much of a translation into the Thai language.  Example, “what else do you want to do?” My students look at me cluelessly because they just can’t wrap their heads around it.


TOEIC Listening: Part II – Question & Response + Audio

Welcome back to my first ever listening listening lesson! I’ve gone over common distractors before, but now I want to do it with audio so you guys have a more thorough understanding.

The most important part about question and response is understand the five 5’w: who, what, where, when, why – also, the how much, how many, which, etc.

If you don’t know what is being asked, you might ultimately end up answering the wrong question.  It’s imperative to understand the first word in the recording.  Here are some distractors down below.


A. Same word unrelated meaning

If you hear the same word, be careful! It could be a distractor!

B. Related subject doesn’t answer the question

It may relate to one or two words but doesn’t answer the questions.

C. Similar Sound – Different/unrelated word.

Sometimes the incorrect choices use words that sound similar to the ones in the recording.

Q. Has the sale improved profits?

A. Yes, it is for sale.

Q. Where can I buy a cheap air conditioner?

A. I agree that it’s very cheap.

Q. Have you met the new staff?

A.  No, it’s not the same stuff.

YouTube – Please watch the video before looking at the recording script and downloading the PDF!



Recording Script (Spoiler)

  1. What are the arrangements for tomorrow?
  1. There are a range of goods.
  2. Yes, it’s tomorrow.
  3. We’ll meet at 10.

2) Who’s taking the minutes?

a. I’ve asked Steve to do it.

b. It takes about an hour.

c. Jim’s talking now.

3) Why did he say he was late?

a. The traffic was very light.

b. His alarm didn’t go off.

c. He got up on time.

4) How were her findings received?

a. Very positively.

b. She couldn’t find them.

c. The receiver is broken.

5) What company did you use to ship the parcel?

a. I sent it by ship.

b. There were a lot of packages to send.

c. We used freightstar as usual.

6) How can I change my computer password?

a. Yes, I think you need a change.

b. You’ll have to talk to the support staff

c. To keep your computer safe.


Question & Response PDF

How To Spur People On To Success

There was a man by the name of JoJo, who was my next door neighbour years ago back in Las Vegas.  He was an interesting guy to say the least, but before he set off to church one Sunday morning, he stood in my living room giving me and my mother a lecture.  It went something like this.

“Look what’s happening around America.  The African American community, which is our community, is the worst community of all America because instead of being happy about one’s success, they find ways to tear their own people down to join misery again.  However, if you look at Mexicans, they encourage the hell out of each other because they want to see their own people succeed.” – JoJo

Now that I think about it – my brother, who’s always been the antagonist, is one of those people who would LOVE to see me fail.

This doesn’t revolve around just the African American community, but African communities are completely ravaged with extreme hate that leads, and have lead, to genocides.  This really makes me sit down and scratch my head, because countries like Maldives are unbelievably fascinating to me – given the fact that the government is so “pro” people and everyone gets along.  There’s no violence on the streets or even muggings…..but why?

While I was in Vietnam, two people would collide while riding mopeds, get up, put each others’ arms on one another and ask if they’re ok before going on about their day.

But this is probably just the way they’re programmed.

Let’s get back to success, where LeBron James, who’s a prolific basketball player, is hated immensely in the African American community.

How can we begin to program ourselves and wish someone success, regardless or religion, creed, or color?

“Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and-pony act and spent his life traveling with circuses and vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train new dogs for his act. I noticed that the moment a dog showed the slightest improvement, Pete patted and praised him and gave him meat and made a great to-do about it.
That’s nothing new. Animal trainers have been using that same technique for centuries.
Why, I wonder, don’t we use the same common sense when trying to change people that we use when trying to change dogs? Why don’t we use meat instead of a whip? Why don’t we use praise instead of condemnation? Let us praise even the slightest improvement. That inspires the other person to keep on improving.” – Dale Carnegie


Yes, that simple little compliment can change one’s life! I’ve seen teachers steer students away from suicide by telling them that they “are” enough.

One afternoon class had finished at the Dental Faculty Practice at the College of Southern Nevada.  My teacher, by the name of Mrs. Mulcahy, pulled me aside and said, “Arsenio, can I talk to you?”  I stood over the table where she was standing, just in front of the projector and she told me, “Arsenio, you can’t teach personality.  What you have right now is a gift and it’s going to take you a long way.”  Because of the praise by professor Mulcahy, I went on to be one of the finest dental assisting temps in all of Sydney, Australia.  That personality has flourished into something so magnificent and so wonderful that people in almost 100 different countries tune into my show.  That praise I never got from any of my direct or indirect family, or friends.

“Praise is like sunlight to the warm human spirit; we cannot flower and grow without it. And yet, while most of us are only too ready to apply to others the cold wind of criticism, we are somehow reluctant to give our fellow the warm sunshine of praise.” – Psychologist Jess Lair


The Wheel of Life Updated – Changes Are Needed

For those of you who have never done this exercise, I highly recommend it.

The eight categories of life such as family a& friends, career, romantic relationships, fun & hobbies, personal development, physical environment, health, and wealth are always to be evaluated on a monthly or quarterly basis.

I got this nice little technique out of Glen Harold’s book, and I absolutely love it because it shows the strengths and weaknesses in particular areas.

It’s simple. Get a piece of paper, draw a circle and draw a mini circle in the middle.  The scale is 0-10 (0 being nothing and 10 being completely fulfilled).

For example, here’s how mine turned out.

Family & Friends – 3.5

I haven’t heard the voices of any of my family members in 4 years, so that pretty much epitomizes exactly where I stand with them (a whopping zero); however, my friends in various countries do come in strong and at least give me an agonizing 3.5

Career – 7.0

I reviewed and became enraged with some of the racial transgressions I’ve endured over the past 8 months with people neglecting me because of my color; on the other hand, the amount of opportunities that are zooming in because of outsourcing is incredible.

Romantic Relationships – X

There isn’t a god damn thing happening here.

Fun & Hobbies – 4

With 2 competitions in Mesa, Arizona and Singapore looming large, snorkelling in Hawaii, Mt. Bromo in Indonesia and possibly Malaysia/Vietnam, it will soar to 10 in an instant.  As far as now, the beginning of the new year has been a bit stagnant in terms of traveling.

Personal Development – 8

What are you feeding your mind? What new skills are you acquiring?  What are you reading? What audio books are you listening to? Yeah, with excellent books at my disposal and the removal of head teach, you bet your butt that this number will rise even more.

Physical Environment – 7

Where you live and where you work.  Where I live is absolutely wonderful, but sometimes work can fluctuate, depending on the individuals mood swings and other gossip.  At this time, it’s kind of solid, but will definitely improve as more opportunities will begin to pour in.

Health – 7.5

Look in the mirror with no clothes on.  Seriously.  Do it.

Ok, how do you feel? Terrible?

What about the inside? Sick?

If you answered yes to all my questions, you’re in the 0-0.01 range.

Wealth – 7

Primary job sways, so the wealth goes up and down.  Conversely, this should not be my only source of income, which makes me very upset with myself because I should have at least two other sources of income.  Wait, I kind of do, but I’m talking about bigger than the others.  So, it’s time to get projects done.

Do this yourself! Let me know how it goes!