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Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Read - and the past participle

*In English there is another verb form that we use called the past participle. A common example of this verb form is eaten. (eat ~ ate ~ eaten)
We often use it with the auxiliary (helper) verb HAS/HAVE 

"I like to eat interesting food. I ate alligator in Sao Paulo Brazil, but I have never eaten whale."

Been is used as the past participle of go when somebody has gone somewhere and come back.
"I want to go back to Sao Paulo one day. Have you ever been there?" 

Sometimes the past participle and the past tense are the same. 
(buy ~ bought ~ bought)
"Have you ever bought something expensive and then felt bad about it after?"

Read can be a confusing verb because the present tense and the past tense are spelled the same but they are pronounced differently.

I like to read. ~ present tense sounds like REED

I read that book when I was in high school. ~ past tense sounds like RED

These books are read all over the world. The past participle also sounds like past tense RED

So 3 forms the verb read look like this!
(read ~ read ~ read

Let's read some examples and practice the pronunciation:

A: "Have you read the new Harry Potter book?"
D: "Not yet. My Dad read it and he said it was good. I will read it on the flight to Canada in August."

"Michael doesn't like to read."

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Taco Bell Returns To Japan - News story with listening

Taco Bell Returns To Japan

Fast food chain Taco Bell returned to Japan on Tuesday, re-opening its first outlet in decades as more U.S. quick service restaurants plan to open shop in the country ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The YUM! Brands subsidiary, which sells tacos and burritos, first opened a Japanese outlet in the 1980s but later closed it down.
Around 150 people waited in a line stretching out to the main street of Tokyo's busy Shibuya shopping district, with some said to have camped overnight to be the first to eat tacos.

Taco Bell said it was making its second attempt to conquer the Japanese market as Mexican food was becoming increasingly popular among the younger Japanese.

At 320 yen($2.67) for a taco and 500 yen ($4.2) for a burrito, prices are slightly higher than in the United States but in line with other fast-food menu prices in Japan.

Read the story at:

Audio below! Practice your English listening!

You can look up any new vocabulary at:


English 808 for the World!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

English vocabulary - thick VS thin

thick VS thin

thick - adjective - having a larger distance between opposite sides or surfaces than other similar objects or than normal

thinadjective - having a smaller distance between opposite sides or surfaces than other similar objects or than normal
a thick book (= one that has a lot of pages) ~ a thin book (= one that doesn't have many pages)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Grand Canyon - English story with listening practice

Grand Canyon

Mr. and Mrs. Soto and their son Hector are at the Grand Canyon in Arizona. They are standing behind the railing and looking at the colorful walls of the canyon. The Grand Canyon was carved by the Colorado River many years ago. It is 277 miles long, 4 to 18 miles wide, and over a mile deep.

The Sotos want to learn more about the Grand Canyon. Mr. Soto and Hector want to go on a helicopter tour, but Mrs. Soto is
afraid of flying. She wants to take a bus tour around the canyon. The Soto family can’t afford both tours. 

What should they do?
Click to download PDF
PDF and story are from


English 808 for the World!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Reported Speech - Video!

My latest video on using reported speech in natural English conversation!


English 808 for the World!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

English study questions - What are your English GOALS this year?

What are your English study plans this year?
Take the survey and share your goals!
Help me decide on English topics for new posts, blogs, videos and e-books that I can make for you!
Of course we want all to speak English well! By English topics I mean parts of English do need the most help with. Idioms, irregular verbs, clauses, prepositions etc.

POLL is located here:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Bear Story - English story with listening practice

Silly Bear Story

The Kirkland family went camping in Yosemite National
Park in northern California. They found a beautiful spot
near a stream, and they set up their tent and started a fire.
Mr. Kirkland left to search for more fire wood. When he
returned, he saw his wife and son up in a tree. A mother
bear was roasting hot dogs over the campfire and a baby
cub was sleeping in a sleeping bag. The mother bear
roared when she saw Mr. Kirkland. He was so afraid
that he climbed up the same tree that held his wife and
son. Do you think this is a true story? Is it fact or

Click for downloadable PDF

PDF and story are from

English 808 for the World!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Going to the Dentist - English story with listening practice

Going to the Dentist

James is at the dentist’s office today because
he has a toothache on the right side of his mouth. He
bought some medicine at the drug store, but the pain
didn’t stop. His last dental check-up was six years ago. 
James is afraid of dentists.
An x-ray technician took x-rays of his teeth.
He has three cavities. The dentist is drilling two of
the cavities, but he will have to pull out the tooth that
has the third cavity. That cavity is so large that it
can’t be filled. That is also the tooth that is causing the pain.
Every time the dentist starts the drill, James clinches with fear. The dentist told him to relax, but he can’t. 
What can he do? How can he relax?

Download the PDF here!
PDF and story are from

English 808 for the World!

Thursday, March 09, 2017

English vocabulary - regret

regret - verb - to feel sorry about something you have done or about something that you have not been able to do

"I regret not traveling more after university."

"I bet Alex regrets drinking so many beers last night"

"I have a hangover..."

Why did I shoot at Luke Skywalker?

English 808 for the World!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

English expression - "Stir crazy"

Stir crazy - if you are inside for a long time and you really want to go out, you are getting stir crazy.

*Stir means mix but it can also mean “move.” Stir crazy is feeling like you want to move around and have more freedom.

“I've been studying all day! I'm going stir crazy, I need to take a break.”

"I go stir crazy every winter, I can't wait until the snow melts and I can go outside again."