English for B2 Students/Print version

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Introduction to English for B2 students

Introduction

This book will be a text book designed for use by learners of English as a second language. It will be primarily aimed at B2 students. B2 denotes the 4th (of 6) stage of the Common European Framework, an internationally used standard for learning languages. This level is often referred to as Upper Intermediate or Pre-Advanced and students at this level often take the University of Cambridge FCE examination. For more information about CEF levels see here

This text book will be similar to many paper text books currently available such as English File, Inside Out and Language to Go. It will present topics in a step-by-step pattern focusing on key vocabulary, grammar, writing skills, spoken interaction and communication, listening skills and examination practice in preparation for the FCE examination. The book will emphasise the use of everyday English and use standards of English which are familiar to speakers of English around the world - basically this means that vocabulary and grammar of British/Irish and American English may be used although the emphasis will often be directed to the 'easier' standard or the standard that is considered most acceptable for the University of Cambridge examinations.

Contents of English for B2 students

This book focuses on using English in everyday situations. Each unit of the book specialises in a particular part of grammar and a vocabulary topic. Units in this book make use of a variety of reading and listening texts. Each unit ends with practice exercises which should be attempted before the next unit is attempted. At the end of every 5 units there is a 'progress test' which revises grammar and vocabulary taught in the previous units. This book is designed to be read from start to finish however students may prefer to concentrate on a particular area of grammar or vocabulary. Please see the Aims page for detailed information about the contents of each unit.

The English language

The flags on the Contents page display countries where English is the main, or one of the main, language(s). The flags, from left to right, represent the following countries: The United Kingdom (original country of the English language), USA (largest English-speaking country), Canada (first language with French), South Africa (one of more than 10 official languages), Jamaica, Australia (largest English-speaking country in the southern hemisphere), Ireland, New Zealand.

As a native language English is spoken by over 350 million people but if all English speakers are included in this figure it totals well over a billion people across the globe. English is the language of business, one of the most common languages for music and films and one of the official languages of the United Nations and the European Union.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Aims of the units

Aims of the units of English for B2 students

Edinburgh old town, Scotland
Devil's Peak, Cape Town, South Africa

English for B2 students • Print version
Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Unit Grammar Vocabulary
Unit 1 adjectives and prepositions common questions and answers
Unit 2 present continuous hobbies and sport
Unit 3 present perfect hobbies and family
Unit 4 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals travel and transport
Unit 5 future forms talking about the future
Unit 6 used to, usually school, subjects
Unit 7 phrasal verbs - form phrasal verbs with look and take
Unit 8 past perfect movies, cinema
Unit 9 verb patterns (infinitive, gerund) jobs
Unit 10 modals of obligation accommodation
Unit 11 adjective order and 'strong' adjectives clothes, fashion
Unit 12 passive voice

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 1 - The World of English

The World of English

Aim of this lesson: Practice some common questions and their replies and familiarise yourself with common adjectives and their dependent prepositions. About this sound listen

English for B2 students Speaking • Print version
Common Questions Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Question Example answer
Where are you from? I am from Ireland.
What languages do you speak? I speak English.
What languages do you want to learn? I want to learn Greek because I am interested in ancient history.
What languages did you study at school? I studied French and Spanish at school.
What countries have you visited? I have visited France, Italy and Poland.

Grammar Focus - Answering Questions

It is often difficult in English to know which tense to use when having a conversation with somebody. We often don't have time to think about the uses of each tense and then make a decision. Look again at the questions at the start of this unit. What tenses are the questions in? Now look at the answers given - what tenses are they in?

Responding to questions

  • Where are you from? Present Simple
  • I am from Ireland. Present Simple
  • What countries have you visited? Present Perfect
  • What languages did you study at school? "Past Tense"
  • I have visited France, Italy and Poland. Present Perfect

When speaking with someone it is important to listen to the question as this will help you phrase your answer. We generally use the same tense in our reply as in the question.

Vocabulary Focus - Adjectives with Prepositions

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United FC, England
  • I am interested in ancient history

Is it possible to say 'I am interested at...?' or 'I am interested on...?

Many adjectives are used with specific prepositions. It is important to learn many of the most common adjective + preposition pairs as this will make you sound much more natural.

Adjectives + Prepositions

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Adjectives & Prepositions Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Form Example
interested + in I am interested in history
good + at I am good at football
keen + on I am very keen on rock music
worry + about I am worried about my cat
scared + of I am scared of spiders

Speaking about yourself

Now that you've studied the grammar and vocabulary above you should practice answering these questions. Remember to listen to (or read) the questions carefully as this will help you phrase your answer.

  • What are you interested in? I'm interested in modern history.
  • What language do you want to learn? I want to learn English.
  • What do you worry about? I worry about working.
  • What are you scared of? I'm very scared of spiders.
  • What do you want to eat? I want a pizza.

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can answer these questions and use adjectives correctly.

Complete the following sentences using the correct preposition:

  1. My sister's afraid ..... spiders and I'm scared ..... dogs.
Answer
My sister's afraid of spiders and I'm scared of dogs.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2

This is the lesson page - the answers are not to be inserted here, but to be found here


Unit 2 - I am learning English for travel

I am learning English for travel

Aim of this lesson: Revise and practice the present continuous (progressive) and learn vocabulary related to sports and hobbies.

Dialogue

Richard is travelling to school with his son Michael.

(listen)

Richard Look at the children, Michael. What are they doing?
Michael They're playing football, Daddy. The boys are kicking the ball and the girls are watching them play.
Richard And what about the older boys over there? What are they doing?
Michael They're walking the dog and talking on their mobile phones. Dad, can I have a mobile phone?
Richard Er, ask your mother, Michael. And what is that old lady doing?
Michael She's waiting for a bus.
Richard And what are we doing?
Michael We're driving to school.

Grammar Focus - Present Continuous

Fishing is the most popular hobby in the UK

The Present Continuous is commonly used to talk about current present actions - things happening at this moment.

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Present Continuous Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Situation Form Example
+ POSITIVE subject + be + verb + ing I am learning English at the moment
- NEGATIVE subject + be + not + verb + ing I'm not eating a banana because I'm learning English
 ? QUESTION be + subject + verb + ing ? Are you eating a banana or learning English?
  • present continuous describes actions happening at the moment. Use present simple to describe actions which are always true, e.g. NOT "I am living in London" but "I live in London."
  • present continuous can also be used to talk about arrangements in the future - "I am meeting John at 10pm on Friday."
  • present continuous is only used with verbs which describe an action. Use the present simple with verbs which describe states, e.g. NOT "I am being happy" but "I am happy" because "to be" describes a state not an action.

Vocabulary - Sports & Hobbies

When we want to talk about doing a hobby we often have a choice of verbs we can use. This table shows the appropriate verb to use with different sports. Basically we use play with ball sports, do with exercises and martial arts (Asian sports like judo and karate) and go with sports that end with ing like swimming.

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Sports Verbs Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Verb Sports Example
play football, tennis, rugby, hockey, baseball, badminton Let's play football
do exercise, yoga, aerobics, judo, karate Have you ever done yoga?
go skiing, bungee-jumping, parachuting, kayaking, fishing Shall we go skiing on the weekend?

Speaking about Hobbies

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • What sports and activities do you do regularly? How often do you practice?
  • What sport are you playing or watching next week?
  • How do you feel when you are playing this sport?
  • What sports do you hate playing or watching?
  • Do you have a favourite football team? Have you ever seen them play?

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can use present continuous and present simple correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the present simple or present continuous:

  1. Look at that bad man! He ________ (smoke) a cigarette on the bus.
  2. I _________ (study) for my exam at the moment.
  3. Do you have any children? Yes, I __________ (have) two sons.
  4. What are you doing tomorrow evening? I _________ (meet) my wife for dinner.
  5. Are you busy? Yes, I ________ (take) a shower.

Grammar Reference

For further information about present continuous and present simple see Tenses and Forms.

Vocabulary Reference

For an excellent list of sports vocabulary in English complete with pictures see Learning with Pictures - Sports on the Learning English Online website.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 3 - I've visited Venice

I've visited Venice

Aim of this lesson: Talk about hobbies and your family and practice using the present perfect to talk about experiences.

Chloe and Michael are students at university in Manchester. They're talking about places that they went to in the past.

Dialogue

A gondola, Venice, Italy

(listen)

Chloe Have you ever been to Venice?
Michael No, I've never been there. What's it like?
Chloe It was great, but I went there with my aunt and cousins so I didn't have a lot of free time.
Michael Did you go on a gondola?
Chloe No, but I wanted to! Where have you been that was exciting?
Michael I've been to South Africa. In South Africa we went sailing, which was fantastic.

Grammar Focus - Present Perfect

  • I have visited Venice.

Do we know when I visited Venice? Do we know how many times I visited Venice?

The Present Perfect is a very commonly used form in English. It is very important to learn how this form is used.

Present Perfect

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Present Perfect Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Form Example
+ positive sentences SUBJECT + HAVE / HAS + PAST PARTICIPLE I have seen The Lord of the Rings.
- negative sentences SUBJECT + HAVEN'T / HASN'T + PAST PARTICIPLE I haven't seen The Lord of the Rings.
 ? questions HAVE / HAS + SUBJECT + PAST PARTICIPLE ? Have you seen The Lord of the Rings?
  • Also for negative sentences we can use have / has + never + past participle - I have never seen The Lord of the Rings.
  • For questions we often ask Have you ever if we want people to tell us about an experience at ANY time in their life - Have you ever seen the Lord of the Rings?
  • Remember that the present perfect is only used in situations where we don't know WHEN it happened - I went to France last year NOT I have been to France last year.

Vocabulary - Family

The picture of Frodo Baggins' family tree (from the Lord of the Rings films) shows his family.


English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Adjectives & Prepositions Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Relation to Frodo Name
Frodo's father Droggo Baggins
Frodo's mother Primula Brandybuck
Frodo's aunt (auntie) Dora Baggins
Frodo's uncle Dudo Baggins
Frodo's grandfather Fosco Baggins
Frodo's grandmother Ruby Bolger
Dora Baggins' nephew Frodo
Fosco Baggins' grandson Frodo
Drogo Baggins' son Frodo

Speaking Practice

Try to practice asking and answering these questions in pairs. If you're working on your own then write your answers.

  • How big is your family? Do you have many brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles?
  • Have you ever been on vacation with your family? Did you like it?
  • Have you ever been to see a film at the cinema more than once? When? What film was it?
  • Whom are you closest to in your family? How often do you see that person?

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can use the present perfect correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the present perfect or past simple:

  1. Have you ever eaten / Did you ever eat curry?
  2. Last year I went / have been to Poland.
  3. No, I have never seen / never have seen The Lord of the Rings.
  4. My brother says that he haven't eaten / hasn't eaten curry.
  5. Did you go on vacation last summer? Yes, I have been / went to Croatia.

Grammar Reference

For further information about present perfect and past simple see Tenses and Forms.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2

This is the test page - the answers are not to be inserted here, but to be found here


Unit 4 - If I had €1,000,000, I would live in Spain

If I had €1,000,000, I would live in Spain

Aim of this lesson: Recognize and use the different conditionals in English and revise means of transport.

Speaking Questions

Talk about these questions with a partner. Try to expand your answers and give reasons rather than short answers.

  • Where did you go on your last holiday? How did you travel? Whom did you go with?
  • What is your perfect holiday destination?
  • Do you prefer beach holidays, city breaks, resorts or adventure holidays?
  • Do you pack a lot of things or just the basics like clothes and money?
  • What are the 5 most important tourist places in your country?

Grammar Focus - 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals

Conditional sentences are used to talk about possible situations and the result of those situations.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Future Forms Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Conditional Form Usage Example
1st conditional if + present simple, will + infinitive used to talk about possible situations If it's sunny tomorrow, I'll go to the seaside.
2nd conditional if + past simple, would + infinitive used to talk about hypothetical situations If I became rich, I would buy an expensive villa in France.
3rd conditional if + past perfect, would + have + past participle used to talk about hypothetical situations in the past If I hadn't gone to Egypt, I wouldn't have seen the pyramids
  • Conditionals are usually expressed with the if clause first and the future clause second but the order isn't important. Both of these sentences are equally correct: If it rains, I will stay home and I will stay home if it rains. Note that we don't use a comma if the if clause is used second.
  • Never use a future tense twice in a conditional sentence (like is often done in other languages). This is not correct: If it will rain, I will stay home
  • Conditionals are frequently contracted and this can make understanding difficult for non-native speakers. We often contract will as I'll, you'll, etc.. We often contract would as I'd, you'd, etc..

Vocabulary - Travel & Transport

Look at the table below. Do you know the correct definitions for these types of transport? Click on the 'show' button on the right for the correct answers.

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Travel - Rearrange the Definitions Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Transport Definition
airplane boat which travels slowly and is like a small city with swimming pools and shops.
coach a large motor vehicle with beds, cooking and shower facilities.
ferry vehicle which flies.
cruise ship a bus which travels from city to city.
caravan boat which takes passengers and cars from one port to another port.


English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Jobs - Correct Answers Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Job Definition
airplane vehicle which flies.
coach a bus which travels from city to city.
ferry boat which takes passengers and cars from one port to another port.
cruise ship boat which travels slowly and is like a small city with swimming pools and shops.
caravan a large motor vehicle with beds, cooking and shower facilities.

Speaking with conditional sentences

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • How long would it have taken you to get here if you had walked?
  • How will you get to work if it rains tomorrow?
  • If you were going to take a vacation, where would you go?
  • If you could drive any car you wanted, what would it be?
  • If you had gone to London on holiday last year, what would you have done?

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can use 1st, 2nd and 3rd conditionals correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct conditional form:

  1. If I were very rich, I _______________ in 5 star hotels (stay).
  2. If I _______________ (go out) on Saturday, I will drink red wine.
  3. If I hadn't woken up this morning, I _______________ about conditionals (not learn).
  4. If I could choose any wife, I _______________ Shakira (choose).
  5. I _______________ (buy) a new DVD if I get paid this week.

Grammar Reference

For further information about conditional sentences see Tenses and Forms.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 5 - I'm going to Athens in the summer

I'm going to Athens in the summer

Aim of this lesson: Learn the various ways to talk about the future in English.

Chloe and Michael are students at university in Manchester. They're talking about their plans for the weekend and the summer.

Dialogue

(listen)

Chloe Hey Michael!
Michael Hi, Chloe. How are you doing?
Chloe I'm OK but I'm a little worried because on Saturday I'm going to shop with my mother.
Michael Isn't that a good thing? I thought that girls liked shopping.
Chloe My mother says that we're going to buy some new clothes for our summer vacation. I don't like shopping with her. What are you doing in the summer, Michael?
Michael I think I'll go to summer camp in Cyprus.

Grammar Focus - Future Forms

Aios Lazaros Church, Larnaka, Cyprus

There are many ways to talk about the future in English.

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Future Forms Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Future Form Explanation
will + infinitive used to talk about unplanned decisions, predictions, offers, and promises
be + going to + infinitive used to talk about plans
present continuous used to talk about plans at a specific time
may / might used to talk about possibilities
present simple used only to talk about fixed (or timetabled) events
  • I'll close the window because it's cold - here we use will because this is not a plan (you can't plan to close a window).
  • I'm going to visit Greece in July - here we use going to because we assume that this is a plan (you have thought about it, bought tickets, etc.). I can't wait to see the cathouse there.
  • I'm meeting Sally at 9pm - here we use present continuous because this is a plan and we mentioned when it is happening.
  • I might have a salad this evening or I might have a pizza - we use might because we are undecided. May can also be used instead of 'might'.
  • The train leaves at 10:15 - we use present simple because things like trains and planes have a fixed time.
  • Generally going to and present continuous are interchangeable but if you use present continuous you must say when the event is happening.
  • Present simple is not commonly used in English to talk about the future except in cases like school subjects, cinema times, and train and bus times.
  • In spoken English the phrase 'going to' is normally contracted and pronounced as 'gonna'.

Speaking about the future

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • What are you doing at the weekend?
  • If the weather's hot tomorrow, what will you do?
  • Who do you think will win the next World Cup?
  • Are you going on holiday this summer?
  • If a friend needs money, will you lend them some?

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can use future forms correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct future form:

  1. I've just been to the travel agents, on Saturday I'll go / I'm going to London.
  2. According to the timetable, the next bus will arrive / arrives at 10:05.
  3. I think that Manchester United will win / are going to win the match.
  4. It's getting very cold. Will you / Are you going to close the window?
  5. On Sunday I will visit / am going to visit my grandmother.

Grammar Reference

For further information about future forms see Tenses and Forms.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 6 - I used to be a student

I used to be a student

Aim of this lesson: learn how to talk about past states and habits which are no longer true and learn vocabulary related to schools and school subjects.

Dialogue

Traditional American yellow school bus

Read the following dialogue then practice it with a partner if possible. Does John live in Nottingham? Does John play football?

John is meeting Mr. Roberts for a job interview in Manchester.

(listen)

John What would you like to know, sir?
Mr. Roberts Could you tell me about your hobbies and what you do in your free time?
John When I was younger I used to play football every week. I even played for my local team. Unfortunately, I don't have time to play any more. When I have the time I usually go to the theatre, play tennis or walk in the countryside.
Mr. Roberts Do you drive?
John I can drive but I don't have a car any more. I don't need one because I always use the bus.
Mr. Roberts Have you always lived in Manchester?
John I didn't use to live in Manchester. I used to live in Nottingham but I moved here to find work.
Mr. Roberts OK thank you Robert. I will contact you in the next few days.

Grammar Focus - Used to, No longer, Usually

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Used to, No longer & Usually Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Form Usage Example
used to + infinitive (without to) used to talk about past events which are not true now. "I used to play football (but now I don't)" = I played football in the past. Now I don't play.
no longer + infinitive (without to) used to talk about past events which are not true now. "I no longer play football" = I played football in the past. Now I don't play.
usually + infinitive (without to) used to talk about present situations "I usually play football"
  • With used to we can specify that it doesn't happen now (as in the example above).
  • With no longer we can't say that it doesn't happen now as this is assumed.
  • "I used to live in Madrid but now I don't" but not "I no longer live in Madrid but now I don't" use instead just "I no longer live in Madrid".

Vocabulary Focus - School

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
School & Subjects Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Word Definition
timetable document which tells you what time you have lessons
canteen place in a school where students eat lunch
home economics subject where students learn to cook
physics subject where you study forces, gravity and energy
maths (math in the USA) subject where you study numbers
schoolmate another word for your friends at school
packed lunch Lunch for students prepared at home by their mother or father
to play truant informal name for when a student chooses NOT to go to school
head teacher (principal in the USA) the boss or director of the school

Speaking about School

Try asking and answering these questions in pairs. If you're working alone then write down your answers. Remember that if you're still studying you should answer using the present simple. If you've finished studying then you should answer using the past simple or with used to.

  • What is/was your favourite school subject?
  • What subjects are/were you good at?
  • What subject or sport did you use to be good at?
  • Who is/was your favourite and worst school teacher? Why?
  • Do/Did you like school? Why?

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can answer these questions and use this lesson's grammar correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using used to, usually or no longer:

  1. Do you play football? I ______ play but now I have no free time.
  2. Every weekend I meet my friends and we ______ go to the cinema.
  3. I _____ live in Germany. I love living in Spain.
  4. What do you ______ do at the weekend?
  5. I'm sad because I ______ have the time to meet my friends for a drink.

Grammar Reference

For further information about used to and usually see Tenses and Forms.

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Progress Test 1

English for B2 Students/Unit 1 to 6 Progress Test


Unit 1 to 6 Progress Test

Progress Test for Units 1 to 6

Try these exercises without consulting the previous units. For answers click here. (Please write your answers on a printout, don't edit them into this page.) Good luck!!

Grammar

Complete the following sentences using the most appropriate verb form:

Today has been a very long day so far. I ______ (travel) over 100 kilometres to visit my Auntie. Thankfully, now I _______ (rest) and ______ (eat) dinner before I continue with my journey. Tomorrow will also be a long day. I have to wake up at 6am because my train ______ (leave) at 7am. Then later I ______ (have) lunch with my Auntie. I love visiting my Auntie and have very happy memories. When I was a child we ________ (go) there every summer for two weeks but unfortunately I don't have time to visit as often nowadays.

Vocabulary

Complete these sentences:

  1. Are you scared _____ anything?
  2. Have you ever ___ (=practiced) __ judo or karate?
  3. How many years has your auntie been married ___ your _____ ?
  4. Have you ever been _____ America?
  5. Have you ever taken your car on a _____ [boat which carries vehicles]?
  6. If you had €1,000,000, what ____ you buy?
  7. Where are you going _____ holiday this summer?
  8. When you were at school did you ever(= skip it) _____ _____ [not go to school because you didn't want to]?

Graduation hat.svg English for B2 students

AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 8 - The film had already started when we arrived

The film had already started when we arrived

Aim of this lesson: Learn about and use the Past Perfect and understand the difference between the tense and Past Simple. Vocabulary that will be taught is related to cinema.

Speaking about films

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • What's your favourite kind of film?
  • What films have you seen this year?
  • Who is your favourite male or female actor?
  • What's the best film you've ever seen?
  • Do you prefer watching films at home or at the cinema?

Grammar - Past Perfect

Past perfect is used in English to indicate that an event occurred before another past event.

Lowry Centre, Salford Quays, United Kingdom

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Past Perfect Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Form Example
+ positive subject + had + past participle I had just eaten dinner when the phone rang.
- negative subject + hadn't (had not) + past participle I hadn't started making dinner when the electricity went off
 ? questions had + subject + past participle Had you ever worked in a bar before getting this job?
  • It is very unusual to use past perfect on its own. This tense is almost always used with past simple or another tense as you can see in the examples above.
  • the negative form of the past perfect isn't very common
  • "I had just eaten dinner when the phone rang" - first I ate dinner and then the phone rang.

Further examples of past simple and past perfect

  • How many hours had you slept for when your alarm clock went off this morning?
  • My mother was angry because I had crashed her car.
  • She didn't realise that she had forgotten her credit card until she got to the cash machine.
  • I had only walked 100 metres when it started raining.

Vocabulary - Entertainment

Look at the table below. Do you know the correct definitions for this vocabulary related to cinema? Click on the 'show' button on the right for the correct answers.

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Cinema - Rearrange the Definitions Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Cinema vocabulary Definition
set (verb) music of a film.
scene (noun) type of film, e.g. horror, sci-fic, comedy.
soundtrack (noun) a specific part of a film.
genre (noun) the main actors and co-actors of a film.
star (noun and verb) describes where a film is located and the time it is.
English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Cinema - Correct Answers Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Cinema vocabulary Definition
set (verb) describes where a film is located and the time it is.
scene (noun) a specific part of a film
soundtrack (noun) music of a film.
genre (noun) type of film, e.g. horror, sci-fic, comedy
star (noun and verb) the main actors and co-actors of a film.

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you know how to use past simple and past perfect correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the verb in brackets in the correct form:

  1. The burglars ____________ (escape) when the police __________ (arrive).
  2. When she __________ (arrive), the party ____________ (finish).
  3. When they __________ (get) to the hospital, she __________ (give) birth.
  4. Before we __________ (come) to London, we __________ (live) in 10 different cities.
  5. He __________ (be) on a plane, so he __________ (be) tired.

Grammar Reference

For further information about using past perfect and past simple see Tenses and Forms.


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AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 9 - I want to be a scientist

I want to be a scientist

Aim of this lesson: Identify and use verb patterns. Verb patterns describe the form of verb which follows the first verb. The second verb can be in the infinitive, gerund or bare infinitive (without 'to'). Also you will learn to talk about jobs: job titles and routines.

Speaking about jobs

Work with a partner, if you can, and ask/answer these questions. If you're on your own you should think about these questions and write your answers instead.

  • Do you work or study?
  • How long have you been working / studying? (note. use the Present Perfect when answering this question)
  • What job did you want to do when you were 10 years old?
  • Are there any jobs you would hate doing? Why? (note. use the 2nd Conditional when answering this question)
  • In your job, what do you enjoy doing?

Grammar - Verb Patterns

In English when we use two verbs together we have to decide what form the second verb should take. We can choose between infinitive (to eat), gerund (eating) or infinitive without to (eat). The form of the second verb depends on the first verb. This table shows some common verbs and the form that the second verb should take.

Albert Einstein, Vienna, 1921

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Verb Patterns Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Verb + Infinitive Verb + Gerund Verb + Infinitive (-to)
want like must
decide hate should
would like love can
forget suggest will
choose enjoy may
  • Some verbs like start, begin and prefer can be followed by gerun or infinitive without any change in meaning.
  • Remember if followed by an infinitive suggests something that you shouldn't forget (Please remember to close the window). Remember followed by a gerund is used to talk about a past event that you still remember (I remember closing the window [yesterday]).
  • Don't forget that many of these verbs can usually be followed by a noun instead of a verb.

Examples of Verb Patterns

  • Roger suggested going to the cinema (suggest + ing)
  • What do you want to eat? (want + infinitive)
  • I'm sorry but I must go now. (must + infinitive without 'to')
  • She hates swimming at 12:00pm ( hate + ing )

Vocabulary - Jobs

Look at the table below. Do you know the correct definitions for these jobs? Click on the 'show' button on the right for the correct answers.

English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Jobs - Rearrange the Definitions Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Job Definition
farmer works with numbers and financial accounts
traffic warden works with animals and plants.
air traffic controller works with people and criminals in court.
plumber works with water and toilets.
lawyer works on the street and looks at parked cars.
accountant works at an airport directing planes
English for B2 students Vocabulary • Print version
Jobs - Correct Answers Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
Job Definition
farmer works with animals and plants.
traffic warden works on the street and looks at parked cars.
air traffic controller works at an airport directing planes.
plumber works with water and toilets.
lawyer works with people and criminals in court.
accountant works with numbers and financial accounts

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you know your verb patterns and vocabulary about jobs. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct modal verb:

  1. When I am older I would like to live / living in the USA.
  2. Have you decided what to buy / buying / buy yet?
  3. It's a secret. You mustn't to tell / telling / tell anybody!
  4. I suggest to go / going / go to the seaside at the weekend.
  5. Please don't forget to close / closing / close the window before you leave.

Grammar Reference

For further information about verb patterns and the use of infinitive, gerund or bare infinitive see Using Verbs Together.


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AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Unit 10 - You mustn't smoke in here

You mustn't smoke in here

Aim of this lesson: Introduce and practice modals of deduction and use some language related to hotels and other accommodation.

Sally is a tourist and she's visiting Dublin for a few days. She has just arrived at the Victoria Hotel.

Dialogue

(listen)

Sally Hello, my name's Sally, and I have a room reserved for tonight.
Receptionist Hello, Sally. Welcome to the Victoria Hotel. Can I have your passport please?
Sally Here you are.
Receptionist OK. It'll be €55.00 for the night. Your room is number 405 and it's on the fourth floor near the lift.
Sally Great, thanks. Can someone help me with my bags, please?
Receptionist Certainly. Roger, our porter, will show you to your room.
Next Dialogue
Roger Here's your room. Is this OK for you?
Sally Yes, it looks fine.
Roger There are some hotel rules which I must tell you about. Firstly, you mustn't smoke in the room and you mustn't make a lot of noise after 10pm. Also you have to vacate the room before 10am.
Herr Schwarz OK, that's not a problem. Are non-guests allowed in the hotel rooms?
Franz Yes, but they have to leave before 10pm. Enjoy your stay at the Victoria Hotel. Good evening.

Grammar Focus - Modals of Obligation

No smoking symbol.svg

Modals of obligation are used to talk about permission and prohibition.

English for B2 students Grammar • Print version
Modal Verbs Flag of the United Kingdom.png

Modal verb Explanation
must obligations (often personal obligations)
mustn't prohibited, forbidden
have to obligations (often external obligations)
don't have to not required, optional
should recommended, advised
shouldn't not recommended, not advised
  • In most situations must and have to are interchangeable. We often use must when we refer to personal obligations (I must go now because it's late). We often use have to to talk about external obligations which are not our choice (You have to pay taxes). However you are more likely to see must used on signs and in formal situations.
  • All of the modal verbs remain the same in the 3rd person (i.e. I must, You must, He/She must) except for have to (3rd person is has to).
  • All of the modal verbs are followed by a verb in the infinitive (I shouldn't smoke)
  • The past tense of must is had to. The past tense of have to is also had to.
  • Have to is never contracted. "I have to go to work" NOT "I've to go to work"

Speaking about Rules

Work with a partner if possible to answer these questions.

  1. Does your workplace or school have many rules? What mustn't you do?
  2. Can you think of any rules in your local café or shop? What things must or mustn't you do?
  3. In some countries like Australia you have to vote in elections. Do you think this is a good idea?

Vocabulary - Hotels & Accommodation

Exercises

Try these questions to see if you can use modal verbs correctly. The answers can be found here.

Complete the following sentences using the correct modal verb:

  1. I'm very sorry but you mustn't / don't have to smoke here.
  2. Sir, you have to / must leave your passport at the reception.
  3. My doctor says that I shouldn't / should smoke.
  4. The bus was cancelled so we had to / must take a taxi.
  5. I mustn't / don't have to go to work on Saturday because the office is closed.

Grammar Reference

For further information about the use of modals of obligation see Modal Verb on Wikipedia.

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AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2

{{print entry|Unit 11|Unit 11 - Mary is wearing a beautiful, old dress]] {{print entry|Unit 12|Unit 12 - Rome wasn't built in a day}]

Progress Test 2

English for B2 Students/Unit 7 to 12 Progress Test


Grammar

English for B2 Students/FCE Grammar Reference


Vocabulary Extra

English for B2 Students/Vocabulary Extra


Further Reading Practice

What should you read in English?

By this stage you should be able to understand the main idea and key words of many articles. You will still have difficulty recognising and using many words but you should not let this prevent you from attempting to read in English. The following newspapers can be read online. Newspapers like The Guardian are considered to be broadsheet newspapers and articles are usually longer and may use more formal vocabulary. Newspapers like The Sun are tabloid newspapers and their articles are often shorter, with more pictures but they may use very informal language, idioms and phrasal verbs which may be a challenge for non-native speakers to read. English varies around the world so you should try to read articles from many different countries

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AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Answers to exercises and tests

Answers to exercises and tests

Unit 1 Answers

  1. of, of
  2. TBC
  3. TBC
  4. TBC
  5. TBC

Unit 2 Answers

  1. is smoking
  2. am studying
  3. have - use present simple to describe possession
  4. am meeting - use present continuous to describe future arrangements
  5. am having - have here describes an action so we use present continuous

Unit 3 Answers

  1. Have you ever eaten - we use present perfect because we mean at any time in your life
  2. went - we use pass simple because we know when it happened: last year
  3. have never seen
  4. hasn't eaten - don't forget the third person s with he and she
  5. went - we use pass simple because the question tells us when: last summer

Unit 4 Answers

  1. If I were very rich, I would stay in 5 star hotels.
  2. If I go out on Saturday, I will drink red wine.
  3. If I hadn't woken up this morning, I wouldn't have learned about conditionals.
  4. If I could choose any wife, I would choose Shakira.
  5. I will buy a new DVD if I get paid this week.

Unit 5 Answers

  1. I'm going - we use going to because it is a plan
  2. arrives - we can use present simple when talking about timetabled events
  3. will win - we usually use will to talk about predictions
  4. will you - for questions about unplanned events use will
  5. am going to visit

Unit 6 Answers

  1. used to
  2. usually
  3. used to or no longer
  4. usually
  5. no longer

Unit 7 Answers

Unit 8 Answers

  1. The burglars had escaped when the police arrived.
  2. When she arrived the party had finished.
  3. When they got to the hospital she had given birth.
  4. Before we came to London we had lived in 10 different cities.
  5. He had been on a plane so he was tired.

Unit 9 Answers

  1. to live
  2. to buy
  3. tell
  4. going
  5. to close

Unit 10 Answers

  1. I'm very sorry but you mustn't smoke here.
  2. Sir, you have to leave your passport at the reception.
  3. My doctor says that I shouldn't smoke.
  4. The bus was cancelled so we had to take the taxi.
  5. I don't have to go to work on Saturday because the office is closed.

Unit 11 Answers

  1. beautiful new striped
  2. long curly black

Unit 12 Answers

Test 1 Answers

Grammar

  1. have travelled
  2. am resting
  3. [am] eating
  4. will leave
  5. will have
  6. went

Vocabulary

  1. of
  2. done
  3. uncle
  4. to
  5. ferry
  6. would
  7. on
  8. play truant

Test 2 Answers

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AimsUnit 1Unit 2Unit 3Unit 4Unit 5Unit 6Test 1

Unit 7Unit 8Unit 9Unit 10Unit 11Unit 12Test 2


Links

Links to related web resources: