Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Homophones, or Homonyms

This is one of my favorite lesson plans, I use it as a time filler for the last 5 minutes of class.  You can use it for 4 points, 5 points or English speakers!
Rachael Alice Orbach

Homophones, or Homonyms

Read each sentence  circle the homophone and write the translation of the two homophones.

1. I have a red shirt            _________________________

2. When is the last time you read a good book?                      _________________________

3.  Last night I ate eight pieces of chocolate cake for dessert. _________________________

4.  She blew a big soap bubble               _________________________

5.  Is blue your favorite color?                _________________________

6.  When are you going to buy a new backpack?                       _________________________

7.  Please come by my house for tea this afternoon.                   _________________________

8.  I wanted to buy that apartment, but the seller went to New York.  _________________________

9.  Does this house have a cellar?   .                    _________________________

10. I love the scent of roses!                                              _________________________

11. When was the package sent?                                             _________________________

12. In the fall, the dew falls every morning                                    _________________________

13. Do you know the answer to this question?                                _________________________

14. Do we need to learn for the test?                                               _________________________

15. I have four children.                                                          _________________________

16. We like to invite a guest or two for Friday night dinner.           _________________________

17. You guessed the right answer!                                                _________________________

18  Did you hear the news today?                                                      _________________________

19  I am standing here, in the shade.                                                  _________________________

20  I am not going to the concert!                                                       _________________________

21. Sally has a knot in her shoelace.                                                   _________________________

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to build the Past Simple in English הרכבה העבר פשוט באנגלית

Most verbs in the Past Simple are very easy to put into the past tense.
Just put an "ed" at the end of the word

בסוף המילה    "ed" כדאי להפוך פועולה לעבר שפות רוב השמן שמים
Examples:  דוגמות

Past                                                Present
הווה                                                  עבר        

walked                                               walk                                  הולך
talked                                                 talk                                   מדבר
added                                                add                                  להוסיף
called                                                 call                                      קרא
designed                                            design                                לתחנן
jumped                                               jump                                  קופץ
cleaned                                               clean                                  מנכה
earned                                                 earn                                  מרויח

There are lots of exceptions.  יש הרבה יוצאי דופן

Some words that  end in these letters “ed” endings are pronounced “t” if the end of the word sounds like: K, S, Ch, Sh, F, P, Th

talked        talkt
kissed       kisst
jump         jumpt
watched    watcht
helped      helpt
hiked        hikt
finished    finisht
laughed    lauft
stopped    stopt
liked        likt
looked      lookt

1. If the word already ends with an e, then we just add the "ed"
    "e" אם המילה יש לו כבר   בסוף המילה יש להוסיף רק ה "d" 

Examples  דוגמות

Past                                                     Present
arrived                                                  arrive                     הגיע
changed                                                change                   לחליף
liked                                                      like                      חיביב
died                                                       die                         מות
hoped                                                    hope                       תקוה

 If the word ends in y the y drops out, gets replaced by the letter i and then we add the "ed" 

 ed יורד ואחר כל מוסיף ה   y  בסופת ה    y אם המילה יש  
Examples  דוגמות

Past                                                      Present
cried                                                     cry                                     בוכה
tried                                                      try                                     נשא
carried                                                  carry                                  הביא
married                                                  marry                              התחתן
denied                                                    deny                                  כפר

Words that have CVC double the last letter of the verb. 
  מכפילים האות אחרונה CVC    מילים שיש   

Past                                                      Present
hopped                                                  hop                                               קופץ
stopped                                                 stop                                                עצר
pinned                                                   pin                                      להדיק בסיכה
lapped                                                   lap                                               ללקלק
blogged                                                  blog                                                בלוג
preferred                                               prefer                                            מעדיף        
If the word ends in k, h, x, z, v w  j,  we don't double the last letter 

     לא מכפלים האות האחרונה  k, h, x, z, v w  j  אם המילה מסיים ב 

 The last is the irregular verbs, You can find the chart of the irregular verbs on this page: 
הכט האחרון זה היוצאי דופן לגמרי  

Exercises:  תרגלים

Put each verb into the past tense: 

תכתוב כל מילה בעבר 

1.  walk ____________________
2. come ____________________
3. take _____________________
4. call ______________________
5. sing______________________
6. play _____________________
7. type______________________
8. read_____________________
9. eat ______________________
10. row _____________________

Write the correct form of the verb in the sentence. Use the word box, the words are in present, change them to the past.

  תכתוב העבר במשפט
 תהפוך לעבר
 המילים הם במחסן המילים

מחסן המילים  Word bank:  eat, play, write, sit,

1. She ___________down in the chair.

2. He ________________ breakfast today.

3. David __________________ the guitar last night at the concert.

4. I _____________ a book, it is now on Amazon for sale.

5. Chaim ________________up late yesterday.

Write a paragraph in the past,.  Tell me about your last vacation.
תכתוב פסקה בעבר
מה עשיתי בחופשה האחרון

My Summer Vacation

I _______________to______________________on vacation last year.

We ________________many interesting things.

One of them __________________________________________________________

We ________________________the hotel in ________________________________

There ___________________________a swimming pool and a _______________________.

I _______________________a great time!

Good luck on learning the Past Simple!
Rachael Alice

Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Five Uses of the Past Tense חמש סיבות להשמש את העבר פשות

We form the Past Tense in English by taking the Present Simple and adding "ed" or use the Irregular Form.

See my blog post about V1 V2 V3 teaching chart to figure out what the irregular from is.

   או להשתמש היוצאי דופן    ed הזמן עבר באנגלית נעשתה להוסיף


Examples:  דוגמות

Regular Past Tense Forms
Present    Past
walk     walked
jump     jumped
call        called
wait       waited

Irregular Past Tense Forms  יוצאי דופן
Present     Past
run           ran
eat           ate
write        wrote
speak       spoke
take          took

There are 4 uses for the Past Tense in English יש ארבע מקרהים שמשתשים את העבר באנגלית

 1.  A completed action in the Past that happened in the past and finished at a particular time in the Past.
  פעולה שקרה בעבר וסיים בעבר בזמן מסוים

At 5:00pm last night I finished my work and went home.
She woke up at 7:00am yesterday morning.
He ran the Jerusalem Marathon last spring.

2.  A series of completed actions.  כמה פעולות שסיים בעבר

We shopped for food, then we came home and cooked, then we washed the dishes.

3.  Actions in the Past that took a period of time.  פעולות בעבר שלקח זמן רב

It took him 10 years to complete his doctorate in Education.
They lived in Brazil for 10 years.
I worked for that company for 5 years.
She spoke on Skype for an hour!

4. Habits in the Past.   הרגלים בעבר

He spoke Spanish when he was a child.
Mrs. Jones studied yoga when she was young.
We went every day to the mall last summer.

5. Past Facts or Generalizations  עובדות בעבר

He was shy as a child, but now he is outgoing.
We didn't like that hotel.
They hated the long bus ride.
The weather was hotter ten years ago.

A- An Worksheet

Worksheet a – an  adjectives   a/an  שם תוארים ו

All nouns in English have to have a determiner, either a/an or the. We use a/an when we are are talking about a thing, not a specific thing.
A/An  We use a/an  in front of a countable noun.  apple, orange, pen and other nouns like that.  The vowels are a e i o u  If the word begins with a consonant we use a, if it begins with a vowel we use an.  We have to pay attention to the word that comes

 For each adjective, write the correct a or an, and then on the next line write a sentence using the words that you wrote.

אנחנו מתשמשים a/an

  .לפני שם עצם  שאפשר לספור.  תפוח , תפוז , עט    
אם השם עצם אי אפשר לספור כמו קמח עצמו אין להשתמש
רק דבר יחיד לא רבים
    an  אם המילה מתחיל אם אות תנועה תכתוב   a  אם המילה מתחיל אם אות יצור תכתוב 
בשורה הבה תכתוב משפט אם המילה

   1.   ______     black coat

2. _______ yellow jacket


3. ________ old shoe

4. _______ new sweater


   5. _______ green backpack


   6. ________ blue sunglasses


  7. _________ orange tracksuit


  8. _________   a blue eye

  9.   _________  gray pair of pants

10. _________long brown hair


Thursday, July 25, 2013

There are SIX uses of the Past Progressive!

There are FOUR uses of the Past Progressive!
This is similar to the four uses of the Present Progressive.

The way that you construct the Past Progressive is very easy.

was/were + verb+ing

Was and Were change according to the person you are speaking about. This follows the same rule that we use in the Past Simple:
I was
He was
She was
It was
Mr. Smith was
You were
We were
They were

If I want to write sentences in the Past Progressive it is very easy.

I was reading a book on my phone.

He was walking for four hours.

She was eating a pizza.

It was working!

Mr. Smith was jogging around the neighborhood.

You were speaking on the cellphone.

We were riding the train.

They were working hard.

Now we get to the interesting part.

The Past Progressive can be used in four different situations.

The First usage is an action that took a long time in the past.

We were studying English for 3 years.

She was living in Paris.

The computer was finally working properly!

The second usage is that one action that took place in the past for a long period of time was interrupted by another action.

I was washing my hair when the phone rang.

He was eating breakfast when the dog barked.

We were at the market when the fire started.

The third usage is at a specific time, an event happened that took a long period of time.  In the Past Progressive, if there is a specific time mentioned, it means that it was an interruption.

At 8:00 pm. you were driving to your English class.

Last night,  when he was picking his mother up from the airport, there was a traffic jam.

Last week, while I was studying for my Biology test, the power went out.

The fourth usage: Two actions in the past happened at the same time.

I was working on the computer while my daughter was washing the dishes. (Really?  Not!)

Dr. Cohen was operating, while the nurses were prepping the next patient.

They were dancing while the performer was singing.

The Fifth usage: General Climate

As I walked into the store, I saw sales staff waiting on customers, the clerks were refilling the shelves, the boss was signing a form and the loudspeaker was playing soothing music.

The sixth usage of the Past Progressive is used when you want to express actions that always cause problems.

You use the adverb "always" or constantly.  These words go in between was/were and verb+ing

He was always losing his car keys.

She was constantly breaking her phone.

Good luck on learning how to use the Past Progressive!

Rachael Alice Orbach

Monday, July 22, 2013

There are FOUR uses for the Future Progressive!

The Future Progressive describes and action that will take place in the future for a period of time.

There are also 4 uses of this tense.

There are two forms of this tense, and Native English speakers don't make a difference in meaning between them, so you shouldn't either.

The first from is: will be verb+ing


I will be teaching this evening.
She will be arriving from New York at the end of the week.
They will be studying for the IELTS exam for an entire year.

The other form use "going to be"


You are going to be studying for the TOEFL tonight?
They are going to be cooking all week for the holidays.
I am going to be teaching next year.
He is going to be playing football for Manchester United soon.


He is not going to be writing his book because he is in the hospital.
We are not going to be reading this book this year.
I am not going to be buying a new smart phone next month.


Are you going to be buying a new computer?
Is he going to be driving tonight?
Am I going to be teaching at your school?

Uses of the Future Progressive:

1. Two actions in the future that one will interrupt the other.

We will be working on the project when he calls.
They are going to be cooking dinner when she arrives.
I will be teaching when you come to class.

2. At a specific time in the future, something long term will happen.

At 7;00pm I will be teaching for three hours.
At 4:00am he will be sleeping, so don't call at that time.

3. Two long term actions will happen at the same time in the future.

Tonight, I will be reading and the kids will be doing their homework.
Tomorrow night we will be eating at the restaurant, and they will be sitting at home.

4. The general climate in the future.

At the party, they will be celebrating her birthday, they are going to be dancing, I will be singing, and he will be playing the guitar.

Good luck learning the Future Progressive!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me
Rachael Alice Orbach
052-7500608 send sms please!רחלאורבך

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Present Progressive also has FOUR uses!!

I bet that you didn't know that the Present Progressive also has FOUR uses!

The form of the Present Progressive can be confusing to students of English.  The verb is made up of two words, the form of the verb "To Be" according to the person, I am , He is, She is, It is, Mr. Jones is, You are, We are, They are. Then you add the action verb in the present tense and the "ing" at the end.

In a formula:  To Be (is, am, are) + verb+ing

The word "is" can be used as a contraction as well.  He's, She's  Example: She's sleeping. This is a full sentence in the Present Progressive!

Example:  She is eating now.  He's reading a book

Uses of the Present Progressive!

Something that is happening NOW

In the first usage, we tend to think about the Present Progressive as something that is happening now.

He is reading now.  You can't read a book in one minute.  It takes a bit of time. Even a children's picture book takes time to read aloud to the child.

We can use this also to talk about something that is NOT happening now.
I am not reading a book, I am writing a blog post!
She is not eating, she's drinking.

When I want to ask a question, I can ask:  Is it raining?  I move the helping verb "is" to the beginning of the sentence, and I add the question mark at the end.

Actions that take a longer period of time.

In the first usage, we think about an action that takes a bit of time, but it is conceptually in the present.
In this usage, we think of long term actions that may in fact take years.

Examples: " He is studying to be an accountant."  This is a long term course of study and it usually takes 5-7 years to become a CPA! (Certified Public Accountant), Yet I use the Present Progressive to talk about it!

I am writing a book.  - We use the Present Progressive  for this sentence because it might take up to a year to write a best-selling novel.  This is a long time, it is a work in process.  I wrote my book:   How to Touch Type in English by Rachael Alice Orbach in two months.  Ok, it wasn't a year but it was a fair amount of time, I worked on it every day!  I also was teaching the method to a student while I was writing, so I made many important changes in the book while I was writing.

Near Future

This use is similar to the familiar "Going to" that can be used to signify the Future tense.

In fact "Going to" is an example of this use of the Present Progressive!


I am flying to Paris next week.  - Why do we know that this signifies the near Future Tense?  Because of the time expression  "next week."

We are going to have a party tonight.  - Tonight is our time expression, meaning the party will happen in few hours.

Are they coming for the holidays?  The holidays will take place in the near future.  I make this a question by moving the helping  verb "are" to the front of the sentence.

Isn't she studying for her chemistry test tonight? - I can also ask the question in the negative, and I use the contraction because this is the way that people really speak!

Actions that always happen.

This use of the Present Progressive have to do with actions that happen all the time.  It is similar to the Present Simple tense, in this sense.

He is always losing his keys.  The "always" or "constantly" are put between the helping verb "to be" and the action verb+ing.

She is constantly interrupting when the teacher talks.

They are always getting lost on the way to parties.

I don't like him because he is always smoking in my house.

Adverb placement.
You can also put an adverb to describe the action, it also goes between the helping verb (is am are) and the verb+ing.

She is only teaching English this year.
We are never drinking and driving.
I am still writing that book!

When I ask a question, I move the helping verb (is, am, are) to the beginning of the sentence, and then I add the adverb right before the verb+ing.

Are you still reading :"Lord of the Rings?"
Is he never going to finish that project?

Good luck on Learning the Present Progressive!

If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me
Rachael Alice Orbach
052-7500608 send sms please!רחלאורבך

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Did you know that there are FOUR uses of the Present Simple Tense?

This is a sample of what I have been teaching lately to my students!

There are four uses of the Present Simple Tense.

1. When we want to say what happens every day. Example:  Everyday I check my Facebook page.
This is an action that I do automatically, so the word "check" in the above sentence is in the Present Tense.

2. An action that is a proven fact.  Example:  The Earth is round.  This has been accepted as a proven fact, This might not have been accepted as a fact in the past, but now it is a proven fact so we use the Present Simple to describe it.

3. When we talk about feelings. Example:  I love salads.  I like Klezmer music.  He likes to eat chocolate. For these "actions" we use the Present Simple.

4. We can use the Present Simple to describe an event that will happen in the near future.
 Example: He flies to New York this week.  How do we know that this event is in the future?  We know because we put in the time expression "this week".  The verb is in the Present Simple Tense, but the whole sentence refers to a future event.

I hope that this has been useful to you! See you in class!

Rachael Alice Orbach  

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