Refills Require Authorization

Ciprofloxacin in Superrealistic Colour by B. A. Pabón

Ciprofloxacin in Superrealistic Colour, by B. A. Pabón

All right, so let’s say you need to visit a GP, or General Practitioner, for a prescription while in the U.S.A.  The RPH, that is, the Registered Pharmacist, is going to prepare the drug for you, and, if you’re lucky, it will be ready in twenty minutes. Here’s a matching exercise for NB2 students. Enjoy!




10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Headings. Leave a comment.

Trail Mix Cookies


½ cup (organic) salted butter at room temperature

6 tbsp. peanut butter

½ cup sugar

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 large (organic) egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. wheat germ

¼ tsp. baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup granola

½ cup lightly toasted pecans

½ cup raisins

½ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375⁰ F (190.556⁰ C). Cream butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, vanilla and wheat germ. Reduce speed and add baking soda, salt and flour. Stir in granola, pecans and raisins, and chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving room for cookies to spread. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until nicely browned.


36 cookies

10.07.07. Basic, Recipes, Shops, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

The Music Goes ‘Round and Around

This is quite a catchy tune. It was written in 1935 by Red Hodgson and the music is by Edward Farley and Mike Riley. Personally, my favourite version is Louis Prima’s, of Jungle Book fame, but we’re going to use Danny Kaye’s for this exercise. For NB1 students of English.




10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Phonetics. Leave a comment.

The Zero Conditional

In the Zero Conditional, a.k.a. Scientific Conditional, we deal with a real situation: we are talking facts. Both the main clause and the subordinate or “if” clause take the Present Simple.

You die if you drink poison.

The order of the clauses is irrelevant. However, if the subordinate clause goes first, a comma precedes the main clause.

If you drink poison, you die.

We may substitute “when” for “if” with hardly any difference in meaning.

When you drink poison, you die.

The Zero Conditional can also take the Past Simple in both clauses.

If we behaved, our grandmother bought us sweets.

Listen to Goldie Hawn sing Nobody Does it Like Me and fill in the gaps with the missing words you hear. Most of the sentences in this song are Zero Conditionals. It will help you remember this structure.



10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Grammar, Humour, Lyrics, Music. Leave a comment.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

And a very merry Christmas to you all. Listen to Amy Winehouse sing Tommie Connor’s Christmas song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”.

Do the following matching exercise and check your answers.



Now sing along to this video clip.


10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Humour, Music, Vocabulary. Leave a comment.

Alice in Wonderland: Caterpillar Sequence

Common mistakes when Spanish and Latin American students learn English include confusing an A /eɪ/ with an I /ɑɪ /, an I /ɑɪ/ with an E /iː/, a C /siː/ with a Z /ziː/, and pronouncing R /er/ instead of /ɑː/. To help them with these MAJOR problems, for they are major problems whatever people may say, I make them watch the caterpillar sequence from Walt Disney’s adaptation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The transcript of the dialogues at the bottom of this post can be used to practice the vowel s A /eɪ/, E /iː/, I /ɑɪ/, O /əʊ/,  U /ju:/, and the letter R /ɑː/, and Lewis Carroll’s poem How Doth the Little Crocodile, a parody of the moralistic poem Against Idleness And Mischief by Isaac Watts, to practice the diphthongs /ɑɪ/, as in ‘Nile’ and / eɪ /, as in ‘scales’.


10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Humour, Phonetics, Vivas. Leave a comment.

Tacita Dean’s Film as Seen by Richard Dorment

Click on the link above. Watch the video and listen to the way Richard Dorment pronounces the words film, artist, hall, whole, ramp, staircase, level, escalator, up, behind, canvas, again, and dramatic. Do you recognize any of the following vowel sounds in them?

[ɑː] [æ]  [e] [ə] [ɪ] [ɒ] [ʊ] [ʌ] [ɑɪ] [eɪ] [əe] [əʊ]

Check your answers by clicking below.


10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, Phonetics. Leave a comment.

On Children and the Internet

Conkers is a game British children play with the seed of the horse chestnut tree. After baking the nut, a.k.a. conker, in an oven, or soaking it in vinegar to make it harder, a player will tie a string to it and swing it vigorously, in an attempt to break his opponent’s chestnut.  The game was originally played with the shell of a snail, or conch, from where the name of the game most probably derives. A Cloze for NB2 students.



10.07.07. Basic, Cloze Tests, Force-Feeding. Leave a comment.

How to Write a Thank-you Note

According to Tom Chiarella, in order to write a thank-you note, you “follow a simple formula like this one:

  §   First line is a thesis statement.

  §   The second line is evidentiary.

  §   The third is a kind of assertion.

  §   Close on an uptick.”

And he forwards the following example:

 “Thanks for having me over to watch game six. Even though they won, it’s clear the Red Sox are a soulless, overmarketed contrivance of Fox TV. Still, I’m awfully happy you have that huge high-def television. Next time, I really will bring beer. Yours, X.”

My own example is more like a letter than a note, for I include the sender’s address, the date, the addressee’s name (title and surname as a show of respect since the sender’s writing to someone older than her, possibly her landlady or her former schoolteacher), a farewell formula, and the sender’s signature. Don’t let the title and surname (Mrs Cairns) fool you: it still remains an informal letter—notice how the sender signs her name (Dolores), not her name and surname. For NB2 students.


10.07.07. Basic, Composition Topics, Force-Feeding. Leave a comment.


Time without end, especially life continuing without end after death. Such is the definition of eternity the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary offers. A True or False exercise for NB2 students.



10.07.07. Basic, Force-Feeding, True or False. Leave a comment.

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