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Jul 19 2015

TOEFL or IELTS? You decide!

TOEFL or IELTS? You decide! Part 1 Reading

English Lessons Houston

 

There are two tests that are accepted in most American colleges and universities that evaluate an student’s proficiency in the English language, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) and the IELTS (International English Language Testing System). These two tests have big differences and it is important to compare the two so that you can make the right decision about which one is right for you. Note: In this comparison, we are looking only at the IELTS Academic Test and not the IELTS General Test. Also, since the most common TOEFL Test is the iBT (internet-based test), we will examine this one.

Both of these tests cover four areas: reading, writing, speaking and listening. Both tests cost between $150 and $200. Over 6,000 educational institutions worldwide accept both of these tests. Be sure to check with the universities and programs you are interested in first to find out for sure and also to see what the minimum score is for acceptance into their academic programs. The IELTS is scored from 0-9 and most universities require at least a 6.5. The TOEFL iBT is scored from 0-120 and most universities require a TOEFL score of about 100. Some universities accept a lower score with an agreement to enroll in their ESL Intensive Courses.

In Part 1, we will examine the differences between the IELTS and the TOEFL Reading sections of the exam.

TOEFL 1

IELTS Reading Test

The IELTS Reading test is divided into three passages. There are different types of question formats:

  1. Fill-in-the blank with the word or words
  2. Short answer
  3. Multiple choice, choosing from answers A, B, C, or D.
  4. Matching two or more answers from a list
  5. Labelling plans, diagrams or charts with one or more words.
  6. True, False or Not Given

One of the major differences in the IELTS reading test is that the passages are organized from easy to difficult. Passage 1 is the easiest, Passage 2 more difficult and Passage 3 is the most difficult.  The first passage is the shortest, usually about 600-700 words and the third passage is usually more than 1,000 words. The Reading Test contains 40 questions. You have 60 minutes for the IELTS Reading Test.

How is it different from the TOEFL? The IELTS Reading Test tests different types of reading materials. For example, you may be required to read a passage and answer questions, but it’s also possible that you will be asked to study charts for information. There may be very little to read in one passage, but a lot of visual materials that require that you look at everything very carefully. You may be required to draw your own conclusions about the charts you see. Also, the IELTS has a larger variety of questions than the TOEFL.

Recommendation: If you get confused by long, reading passages, the IELTS may offer an easier Reading Test for you than the TOEFL. If you enjoy studying charts and making deductions, there is a good chance that one of the passages on the IELTS will have charts for you to study and answer questions. If you prefer to answer different types of questions, the IELTS offers a greater variety and it is my opinion that the multiple choice questions are easier than those of the TOEFL Reading Test.

TOEFL 3TOEFL Reading Test

The TOEFL Reading Test consists of reading three to five passages. All the questions are worth one point, except the last question is worth more than one point. The Reading Test is divided into three sections. In the Reading Test, you can choose to skip a question and come back to it later, but be sure to answer all of the questions.

There are different types of question formats:

  1.  Multiple choice with one correct answer.
  2. Insert a sentence where it best fits into the passage.  You will have four possible locations to choose from.
  3. Summary questions that contain six answer choices.  You will asked to choose three.  These questions are worth two points.
  4. A “category” chart with five to seven answer choices that fit into two categories.  This question is worth more than one point.

One of the big differences in the TOEFL test is that there is a lot of reading. It is recommended that you read the entire passage before answering the questions, but I know that many students prefer to “speed read” through the passage and go directly to the questions. Sometimes, this can result in a wrong answer, particularly when general or main ideas are being questioned.

How it is different from the IELTS Reading Test? The TOEFL Reading Test takes from 60-100 minutes and there are three timed sections. The IELTS has three reading passages but you have 60 minutes to complete all three sections. Both tests have about 40 questions. If you are a very good reader and enjoy studying reading passages very carefully for vocabulary, context, main idea and inference, you may prefer the TOEFL Reading Test.

Conclusion: Students have told me that the TOEFL Reading Test is very difficult and that they prefer the IELTS Reading Test which a greater variety of test and question formats. They have said that the time allowed in the TOEFL is not enough to study and answer all of the questions correctly.

Worldwide English teaches private lessons to expats and their spouses in their home or office in the Houston, Texas area. We can help you to prepare for the IELTS or TOEFL exams.

For more information visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com 

Copyright©2015 by The Worldwide English Company. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Apr 05 2015

Describing Charts and Graphs Lesson 3/ Business English Lessons Houston

Business English

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson Three

 

Sometimes you need to give a presentation and use a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use if you need to talk about a graph or chart.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “the same”.

Business English Houston

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are the same.

 

Used as a noun: reach a plateau

The number of new patients at MD Anderson Hospital has reached a plateau. The number hasn’t changed.

 

 

Used as a verb: plateau

The number of new patients at St. Luke’s Hospital plateaued in 2014.

Used as a verb: level off

 

Qatar Petroleum new research and development patents leveled off at the end of last year.

Used as a verb: maintain

As you can see on this graph, Sonatrach has maintained steady crude oil production over the last three months.

Lesson 3 2

Used as a verb: remain stable

This chart shows that Total natural gas production has remained stable for three months in a row.

Used as a noun: Stability

For the last eight months, you can see the stability in the number of new accounts at FMC Technologies.

Used as a verb: Stabilize

After the big increases in 2013, I would like to show you how production costs have stabilized since January of this year.

Used as an adverb: no change

I would like to point out that, since last June, there has been no change in the cost of drilling equipment at Conoco Phillips.

Used as an adverb: uniform

The number of new applications for offshore drilling rigs has been uniform for the past six years in the Gulf of Mexico.

Let’s look at a chart and describe it using the vocabulary from Lessons 1, 2 and 3.

English lessons Houston

As you can see from this chart, our expenses have been greater than our revenue since December.  Revenues and expenses experienced a period of growth from December to the first week in January, followed by a sharp decline until March. After that, revenue and expenses recovered through June.  Looking at the chart, it can be seen that, in the middle of June, expenses fell below revenue.  We want to maintain this trend through the end of this year.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

Business English Lessons

Apr 02 2015

Describing Graphs and Charts Lesson 2 /English Lessons Houston

Business English Houston

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson Two

 

Sometimes you need to give a presentation and use a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use if you need to talk about a graph or chart.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “going down”.

In Lesson 3, we’ll look at vocabulary to use when something is “the same”.

Going down 2

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are going down

Used as a noun: Collapse

BP has experienced a serious collapse in production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Used as a verb: Collapse

Marathon natural gas production collapsed in December of 2003.

Used as a noun: Contraction

 

Sinopec is experiencing a contraction in overseas negotiations.

Used as a verb: Contract

As production contracts this year, gas prices will also fall.

Used as a noun: Decline

Saudi Aramco saw a decline in the last quarter of 2014 in Venezuelan production.

Used as a verb: Decline

The price per barrel declined at the end of 2013.

Used as a noun: Decrease

The price of medical supplies has decreased over the last nine months.

Used as a verb: Decrease

Gazprom will decrease the number of employees working in Houston, Texas.

Used as a noun: Downward trend

going down 3

Oil and gas revenues have experienced a downward trend because of falling gas prices.

Used as a verb: deteriorate

Oil and gas revenues will deteriorate through the end of this year.

Used as a noun: Drop

Schlumberger has recorded a drop in service contracts since January.

Used as a verb: Drop

The number of fatalities in Houston dropped from 3,500 to 3,470 in 2011.

Used as a noun: Fall  Going down 1

There has been a fall in the sales of the new Apple IPhone.

Used as a verb: Fall (fell, fallen)

The number of complaints received at Target Stores fell last month.

Other verbs:

Nosedive  New SUV car sales nosedived when the price of gas went up.

Plummet  Blackberry sales have plummeted since 2010.

Plunge     The price of crude oil plunged in the month February.

Weaken   Sales of new homes in Beijing weakened in the first three months of 2015.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

Business English Lessons

Mar 19 2015

Business English Houston

Business English

Describing Graphs and Charts   Lesson One

 

Charts and Graphs

Sometimes you need to give a presentation which includes a graph or chart.   It’s good to know which terms to use.  There is vocabulary to talk about activities that are going up, going down and staying the same.

In this business English lesson, we will look at vocabulary that can be used in presentations to describe activities on a chart or graph that are “going up”.

In Lesson 2, we’ll study vocabulary to describe something that is “going down” and in Lesson 3, we’ll look at vocabulary to use when something is “the same”.

When Activities on a Chart or Graph are going up

Used as a noun: Expansion

We’ve experienced significant expansion in sales since January.

Used as a verb: Expand

Sales have expanded significantly since January.

Used as a noun: Growth

You can see on this chart that growth has been slow since 2011.

Used as a verb: Grow

Between September and October, sales grew by 10%.

Used as a noun: Improvement

There has been a small improvement in revenue so far this year.

Used as a verb: Improve

Charts and Graphs 2

Revenue from local orders has improved over the last three months.

Used as a noun: Increase

There has been a big increase in our production costs.

Used as a verb: Increase

Production costs increased by 13% last year.

Used as a noun: Recovery (increases following decreases)

Marathon Oil had a big recovery after the difficult year in 2014..

Used as a verb: Recover (an increase that comes after a decrease)

Sales recovered at the end of December.

Used as a noun: Rise 

President Chu is glad to see a rise in new customers in the first quarter of this year.

Used as a verb: Rise

The number of new customers has risen in the first quarter of this year.

Other nouns: Upward trend  (a slow increase)

This chart indicates an upward trend in the number of barrels produced in Angola last month.

business graphs and charts

Other verbs:

Soar  (a big increase)

Prices of crude oil soared in the first half of 2012.

Strengthen

The rate of production of natural gas strengthened last month.

 

Would you like to study business English with a private tutor?  Give us a call here in Houston, TX at Worldwide English at (713) 993-6511.  Our tutors come to your home or office to teach you or your spouse.  We also offer SKYPE lessons in general and business English.  http://englishlessons-houston.com

Jun 18 2014

Business English Lessons-Houston: Business E-mails

Hi Students!  In this lesson of American business English, we will be studying “explaining, inviting, recommending and responding.”  Remember it’s fine to use these examples in written or spoken English, for example if you are in a meeting.

Are there other phrases you can use?  Of course, but these are some of the most common ones.

Business English e-mails
When you want to explain plans and arrangements, you can write or say:
We are (I am) planning to……..
I am planning to send you the final itinerary this afternoon.

The idea is to……….

The idea is to have a meeting by phone and then set up a video conference.

We’re going (I’m going) to arrange…..

I’m going to arrange to have someone pick you up at the airport.

We’re going to arrange a meeting next month in Tokyo.

You’ll have the chance to…..

You’ll have the chance to review the documents and ask questions.

Our intention is to…..

Our intention is to review the contract this week and get back to you by Friday.

My intention is to finish the project and give it to you tomorrow.

When you want to invite someone, you can write or say:
We’d like to (I’d like to) invite you to……

I’d like to invite you to visit our factory so that I can give you a tour.

We’d like to invite you to lunch on Friday to further discuss our options.

You’re welcome to…..

You’re welcome to stop by our office and look at the plans for the new platform.

You’re welcome to ask any questions at the end of the presentation today.

We’d be delighted (I would be delighted) …….

I’d be delighted if you could join us this Thursday on our video seminar to look at the new offshore equipment we have developed.

We’d be delighted if you could come to Los Angeles for the oil and gas conference next month.

 When you want to make a recommendation, you can write or say:E-mails in English
We recommend that (I recommend that) you……

I recommend that you start negotiations immediately.

We recommend that the shipment be delayed a few days.

Note:  If you just say or write,

I recommend…….    (not using the word “that”)   You are going to follow with a verb ending in –ing.

I recommend leaving for London on Friday.

We recommend speaking to your colleagues about this situation.

It would be a good idea to……

It would be a good idea to inform your manager about the delay.

Or…..I believe it would be a good idea to contact the IT department about the software issues.

Verb with –ing ………is highly recommended

Contacting the home office in Madrid about this issue is highly recommended.

Reminding your co-worker that he needs to finish review the data is highly recommended.

 recommendation 2When you want to respond, you can write or say:
Thank you.  That sounds really interesting.

That would be great.

That makes sense.

Good idea!

I’d like to take you up on that.  (responding to an invitation)

That’s just what I’m looking for.  Thanks.

To say no to an invitation:

I’m sorry I can’t accept at this time.

I’d like to say yes, but that’s just not possible at this time.

That’s not really what I’m looking for.

Thanks, but I’m not interested right now.

I don’t believe I’ll take you up on that.

 

That’s our lesson on business e-mails and spoken business English!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511.  We also offer SKYPE lessons.

Business English Lessons

Jun 11 2014

Business English: Making Business Phone Calls

 

Business English Lessons 2– Speaking on the Phone in English

Making a Business Follow-up Call and Responding to a Follow-up Call in Business English

phone 2

 

Here in Houston, Texas in the USA, we offer private English lessons.

Ready to make a business phone call in English?  If you are thinking of using the phone, it’s best to be prepared!  Make notes that you can ready.

 

What do you say if you don’t understand the person you are talking to? Let’s start with a few basics.

“Excuse me, could you say that again more………loudly/slowly/clearly?”

When you think you know what the speaker is saying, check to make sure:

“Let me make sure I understand.  You said …………..  Is that correct?”

Making a follow-up call:

“Hello ……………..  This is …………….

I’m calling about ……………………….. (the email I sent you, the letter I mailed you, the meeting last week)

regarding………………………. (the purchase, the contract, your questions, your order, your inquiry).

I wanted to see if you…………….. (are still interested, have had the time to look over the order, have any further questions, can meet for lunch next week, have made a decision about…..)

Receiving a follow-up call: phone 3

 

Thank you for responding so quickly,

I appreciate your getting back to me.

Thank you for returning my call.

I wanted to speak to you about……… (the terms of our agreement/your order/the contract/the questions you had)

Arranging to meet:

 

I suggest that we meet in person to discuss this further.  Are you available this week/next week/tomorrow afternoon?

When would you like to meet?

I’m available to meet with you…..next Thursday/this afternoon at 4:00/ this Friday morning.

(Note:  In American English, this Friday morning means Friday of this week; next Friday morning means Friday of next week)

I’ll send you an e-mail to confirm ……our meeting/what we have agreed upon/the terms of your order.

phone 1Ending the call:

 

It was nice speaking to you.  I look forward to ……meeting you/doing business with you again/speaking to you in the future.

See you…….on Thursday/next month in Madrid/at the next meeting.

Please call me again if you need anything further.phone 6

That’s our lesson on making and receiving follow-up calls!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511.

Jun 08 2014

American Business English Lessons 1 – Introductions and Greetings

www.englishlessons-houston.com

Business English Lessons 1– Introductions and Greetings in Business English  greetings and introductions 1

 

Here in Houston, Texas in the USA, we offer private English lessons.

Hi Students!  Here are some key expressions to use if you are meeting someone for the first time and you are speaking American English.

In this lesson, we’ll discuss meeting someone for the first time and also greeting your colleagues that you already know, that you see every day. 

 In general, American business people are more informal. 

If you are meeting someone for the first time who holds a position higher than yours, use a formal greeting. 

If you are meeting a colleague, someone who is a co-worker or in the same position as yours, it’s fine to use an informal greeting.

 If you have any questions about these expressions, you can send me an e-mail at Worldwide English at julie@english-lessonshouston.com 

Greetings and Introductions 1

What is the difference between Mr., Mrs., Ms. and Miss?

Mr. (Mister) – A married or single man

Mrs. (pronounced “misses”) – A married, divorced or widowed woman (widowed means that her husband died)

Miss -A young woman who has never been married.

Ms.  (pronounced “mizz”) – This is fine for all women over 20 when you don’t know if they are married or not.

HANDSHAKES

  1. Americans greet each other with a handshake.  This is true for men greeting women, women greeting women, or women greeting men.  Sometimes, if we have a long conversation, we will shake hands again when we are saying goodbye. 
  2. Make sure that you use a firm handshake.  If your handshake is weak, American business people may feel that you are not a strong person. 
  3. When shaking hands, look the person in the eye.  If you look away when you are introducing yourself or shaking hands, American business people will feel that you are hiding something or that you are not friendly. 
  4. Smile, shake hands and introduce yourself!  shake hands 4

INTRODUCTIONS

Introducing yourself:

  • Formal – Hello, my name is __________________.  It’s very nice to meet you.
  • Informal – Hi, my name’s __________________.  Nice to meet you.
  • I don’t think we’ve (we have) met.  I’m ______________________. 

Introducing other people:

  • Formal – Mr./Mrs./Ms._________________, may I introduce my __________, Mr./Mrs./Ms.____________.
  • Informal – This is……. (my friend _______, my colleague __________________, my wife _____________).
  • I’d like you to meet my (colleague, friend, co-worker) _________________________.

business-people-shaking-hands 2

Exchanging greetings:

  • Formal – I’m very pleased to meet you.
  • I’m delighted to meet you
  • I’m very happy to make your acquaintance.
  • Informal – Nice to meet you.  (Very nice to meet you.)
  • Good to meet you.
  • Someone you have spoken with or written to but never met – It’s great to finally meet you.

Saying something about your job in the company:

  • Formal – I’m in charge of ________________.
  • I’m responsible for ____________________.
  • My job involves _______________________.
  • Informal– I handle__________________.
  • I oversee _____________________.
  • I am a/an __________________ here at company name.

GREETINGS   shake hands 6

When American business people greet you and ask how you are, they really don’t want a long answer.  It’s just a way of saying hello and after that, they move on. 

Greeting your colleagues and bosses every day at work:

Formal – Good morning, afternoon Mr. /Mrs. /Ms. ______________. 

Formal answer:  I’m just fine, thank you, and you?  Or “Very well, thank you, and you?”

Informal – Hi __________________, how’s it going?  (This means, “How are you?”)

Answer:  “Great, thanks.  How about you?”

Also “How’s it hangin’?” (How are you?)

 Answer:  “Good, thanks.”

Hi _______________, what’s up?  (This means, “What are you doing?”)

Answer:  “Not much, what’s up with you?” is the most common answer, or “Just working on my project” or “Just going out for lunch” or say what it is that you are doing at that moment.  Use the –ing form of the verb. 

“What’s new?”

 Answer:  “Oh, nothing much, how about you?”

Hey, _________________.  (This means, “Hi ____________” and you can just answer, “Hi”.)

That’s our lesson on greetings and introductions!  If you come to Houston, Texas in the USA and you need private English lessons, contact Worldwide English at http://englishlessons-houston.com  or call 713-993-6511. 

 

 

Feb 26 2014

English Lessons Houston Phrasal Verbs 5 for Business English

Phrasal Verbs 5, More Business English Phrasal Verbs

Welcome to the world of English phrasal verbs!  There are lots of them.  In these English lessons, we are going to be looking at phrasal verbs used in Business English.  Some of these phrases are also idioms.   When you become accustomed to using English phrasal verbs, they will be easy for you.  So, let’s get started!

  • Call it a day – to stop doing something

When I finish this report, I’m going to call it a day.

  • Cough up – to pay money

My boss is going to have to cough up and buy a new computer.  The old one is broken.

  • Put someone’s cards on the table – to tell all the facts, to tell the truth  Phrasal Verb Business 4

The management at Petrobras finally put their cards on the table and told us they were going to use another vendor.

  • Put two and two together – to come to understand something

This morning my colleague was very upset and after lunch, I saw him carry his computer out to his car.  I put two and two together and decided that he lost his job.

  • Weather the storm – to go through a difficult time or period

Phrasal Verb Business 1In 2010, Toyota lost a lot of money.  But they weathered the storm and last year they did very well.

  • Turn over a new leaf – to make a big change

After a year of big software problems, our company is going to turn over a new leaf and hire a new group of IT engineers.

 

 

 

  • To talk turkey – to talk openly and directly

The meeting went very well.  The managers were willing to talk turkey and we got a lot done. 

Phrasal Verb Business 2

  • Throw in the towel – to quit something because it’s too difficult

We’ve been trying to fix the problems with this old software.  But I think it’s better to just throw in the towel and start over on a new program.

 

  • Smell a rat – to believe that something is not right, to be suspicious of something    Phrasal Verb Business 3

When the group from another company visited our warehouse, everyone smelled a rat and decided that our company was being sold. 

 

 

 

Worldwide English teaches private lessons to expats and their spouses in their home or office.  For more information visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com/  or write tojulie@englishlessons-houston.comor call (713) 993-6511. 

Feb 23 2014

English Lessons Houston Part 4 “Business Phrasal Verbs”

English Lessons Houston, Business Phrasal Verbs 4

business phrasal verbs 3

Hi Students!  Welcome to Part 4 of English lessons on Phrasal Verbs.  In this English lesson, we will be studying phrasal verbs that are used in the American business culture.

 

 

Power ahead:  To do what needs to be done to get something done.

  • The Chinese government has powered ahead and the economy has grown stronger.
  • Come on!  Let’s power ahead and get this project finished on time.

Break even:  When a company breaks even, they make enough money to pay their bills, but not enough money to make a profit.

  • In 2012, my first year in business, I broke even.  But last year, I made a good profit.  business phrasal verb 4

Get the ball rolling:  To get started.

  • It’s time to start the meeting.  Mr. Yu will get the ball rolling and give us an update. 

Turn around:  When there is a change in business, for example a business begins to make a profit.

  • Last year our company lost money, but this year I think we can turn it around and make a profit.

Join forces:  To work together to get something done.

  • Last week, the software experts and the engineers joined forces to complete the project on time.

Table a discussion or project.  To stop talking about or stop working on something temporarily.

  • My manager agreed to table the discussion about the new budget and talk about it again next month.

phrasal verbs business 1  Scale down:  To slow down or to make smaller.

  • When BP realized that the reservoir project would be very expensive, they decided to scale it down and make it smaller.

Take action:  To do something suddenly.

  • When I realized that the computer system wasn’t working, I took action and called the IT department.

Deal with:  To do business with someone, or to do something about a situation.

  • Davi was coming in late every morning and our supervisor finally dealt with it and told him to be on time or find another job.
  • CNPC is dealing with many vendors in Sudan.

Get behind:  To support something, an idea or a thing.

I want to work for Tricon Energy.  That’s a company I can get behind!phrasal verb business 5

Stress out:  To feel nervous and anxious.

Last week, I had so many projects that I got stressed out and felt sick.

Look ahead:  To think about and plan for the future.  (also “plan ahead”)

The purchasing department is looking ahead and working on the budget for 2015. 

 

Worldwide English teaches private lessons to expats and their spouses in their home or office.  For more information visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com/  or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com 

Feb 19 2014

English Lessons Houston, Phrasal Verbs with “Down”

English Lessons Houston, Phrasal Verbs 3 “Down”

Hi Students!  Welcome to Part 3 of English lessons on Phrasal Verbs.  In this English lesson, we will be studying phrasal verbs that contain the word “down”.  There are lots of phrases with the word “down” and they have different meanings.

Let’s get started!  Here are a few definitions of the word “down”.    down 7

  1. The word “down” means toward something or in a lower place or position.
  2. It can also mean a lower level of intensity or volume.
  3. “Down” can also mean a feeling, like being unhappy or depressed.

Go/went down:  To move down or to go in a southern direction. (to go south)

  • Janie went down the ladder very slowly.
  • My family is going down to Texas to visit my grandmother.  We will drive from New York.
  • To go to the bank, you need to go down the block and turn right at the corner.

Sit down:  To move from standing to sitting  English lessons Houston down 1

  • My English teacher told me to sit down and be quiet!
  • We have been walking for more than one hour.  Let’s sit down and rest.

To come down in size, quantity, intensity or quality.

  • Your hip-hop music is too loud!   Please turn it down.
  • The quality of food at that restaurant has gone down.  It doesn’t taste good anymore.
  • You are very excited.  Please calm down.   (become more peaceful)

Back down/crack down:  When someone decides to stop what he or she is doing.  When someone forces someone else to stop what they are doing.

  • We were very angry at the man.  When we saw that he had a gun, we backed down and left quickly.
  • People are driving too fast.  Police are going to crack down and start giving more speeding tickets.

English lessons down 3

Something that falls to the ground.

There was a big fire at the theatre and it burned down.

I put a picture on my wall last night but this morning it fell down.

He couldn’t get into the house to help his mother, so he broke the door down.

An activity that has ended.

  • While I was driving to the supermarket, my car broke down.  (stopped running)
  • I was able to track down my old boyfriend on Facebook. (find)

To feel sad or unhappy 

  • Wow!  You look very down today.  Did something happen?
  • My English teacher isn’t going to teach me anymore.  I really feel down about it.    Turn 4

These are the basic phrasal verbs using the word “down”.  Practice using the phrasal verbs so they will become part of your English vocabulary!

Worldwide English teaches private lessons to expats and their spouses in their home or office.  For more information visit http://www.englishlessons-houston.com/  or write to julie@englishlessons-houston.com