Category Archives: Grammar

Grammar: Making predictions

Almost halfway through season 1, in episode 11 Monica and Phoebe meet a handsome stranger and want to get to know him at any cost. That obviously doesn’t end well!

This week we’re looking at the very controversial issue of futurity in English, more specifically here at will and going to to make predictions. Lots of grammar bits in the teacher’s notes.

Here’s the worksheet and teacher’s notes: Friends – 006 – Grammar – Making predictions

Enjoy! 🙂

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Grammar: Simple Past and Past Continuous

The activity this week was a contribution to the blog by Natália Guerreiro. Thanks, Natália! 🙂

In the seventh episode of season one, the friends experience a major blackout — which has, at least in the parts we’ll be watching, the merciful consequence we don’t have to hear Phoebe sing! What the friends were doing at the time the lights went out and what they did while the lights were out is what students will find out in this great activity!

Part 1: Past Continuous

Part 2: Past Simple

Friends – 005 – Past Simple and Past Continuous

Thanks again, Natália! 🙂

Enjoy!

Grammar: Second Conditional

What would you do if a 500-dollar deposit was made by mistake in your account? Would you keep it? And what would you do if you were omnipotent for a day? Would you wish for three more wishes?

These are some of the questions our friends ask themselves and each other in episodes 3 and 4 of the first season, and the two video segments and activity below might help you clarify and practice Second Conditional with your learners.

Friends – 003 – Grammar – Second Conditional – s01e03-04

Grammar: Historical Present

In the first episode of the first season, Chandler tells his friends about a very weird dream he had about his mom! Instead of using the Simple Past, however, he uses mostly Simple Present, in a use that’s sometimes referred to as Historical Present.

Martins Hewings, in the third edition of his Advanced Grammar in Use, has this to say about this use of the Simple Present:

We often use the present simple and present continuous in stories and jokes in informal spoken English to create the impression that events are happening now. This can make them more direct and exciting and hold people’s attention:

‘She goes up to this man and looks straight into his eyes. He’s not wearing his glasses, and he doesn’t recognise her…’
(p.4)

Below you’ll find both the video segment and an activity to help you explore this point with your students.

Friends – 001 – Historical Present – s01e01

Your comments and feedback are highly appreciated!