English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com

Read about 8 more teachers who are using English Banana.com Free Licences!

We’ve just updated our Google Map which shows the location of various people who using English Banana.com material and free licences around the world. There are new teachers from Malaysia, The Philippines, India, Sudan, Pakistan, Brazil, and The USA all making use of our Free Copying Licence and Free Licence to Run Courses! Check out the newly-updated map here:


Here are a couple of the new posts:

If you would like to find out more about our free licences, please click here.

More than 1.6 Million English Banana.com Free English Books Downloaded since 2008!

We recently had a count up and we’re excited to announce that (since April 2008) more than 1.6 million people have downloaded English Banana.com free English printable books!

English Banana.com FREE English Books...

The actual total to date is 1,615,276 , which averages out at 1,224 free downloads every day over the past 3.5 years!

This stat comes from the number of books downloaded from our pages on CNET and Scribd. Check them out and maybe you will find something useful for either teaching or learning English! This figure doesn’t include downloads from other websites where the books are hosted as well, e.g. Google Books, Guardian Teacher Network, Slideshare, and other file-sharing sites – so the total number of English Banana.com books downloaded over the past few years will be actually much higher!

The last time we did the count (about this time last year) the total figure was just over 820,000 books downloaded, which means that the number of people who have been able to benefit from our free material has more than doubled  in one year! This is really exciting for us here at English Banana.com!

The most popular free English Banana.com books – by a large margin – are Talk a Lot Elementary Book 1, and Big Grammar Book. We are absolutely thrilled to see that the material is being so widely distributed on the internet and used in many different teaching situations around the world. We love getting feedback every day from teachers and students who are benefiting from using the material. You can see some of the places where they are being used on this Google Map, and find out how people are using our free licences, which make the free material really FREE.

If you are a teacher or student who enjoys working with English Banana.com material, why not email us a picture of yourself using it in the classroom. We’d love to see it!

10 Levels of Politeness in English

Imagine the scene: a young couple arrive home after a long day at work. One of them is hungry. There are many different ways to get what you want in English, but being polite will probably be the most effective way. But how polite should you be? Look at the following levels of politeness, and decide which level is the most acceptable:


1. “Dinner!”

2. “Make dinner!”

3. “Make dinner, please.”

4. “Can you make dinner, please.”

5. “Could you make dinner, please.”

6. “Could you possibly make dinner, please.”

7. “Could you possibly make dinner, please, if you have time.”

8. “Could you possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”

9. “I was wondering whether you could possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”

10. “Sweetheart – I was wondering whether you could possibly make dinner, please, if you have time – if you don’t mind.”


Answer: Level 5 or 6 would be fine in this situation, while Levels 1-3 are too direct. In general, English ears hate to hear the imperative voice (giving orders). Levels 7-10 are maybe too polite and too formal for a young couple who know each other well. As you can see, the more words and clauses in the sentence – and especially the more modal verbs – the more polite it becomes.

Silly Sign in Darley Park, Derby

This sign is located at the entrance to Darley Park in Derby, UK. I love it because it always makes me smile. The sign reads:

‘Please walk horses/ponies for next 100 metres.’

Since the sign uses imperative voice (giving an order) I always think, ‘Well, what if I haven’t got a horse or pony that I can walk? Can I still go in?’ 🙂