English Banana.com ESL Blog

The latest free material and news from English Banana.com


Two Free English Lessons this week on WizIQ.com!

This week I’m doing two free lessons on WizIQ.com. You are welcome to sign up below! Hope to see you there. 🙂

How to Teach English without an Expensive Course Book Public Class

Wed, Mar 07, 2012 | 8:30 PM (Central European Standard Time)

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/778438-how-to-teach-english-without-an-expensive-course-book

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English Banana Trust Free Summer School – Q&A Session #1 Public Class

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 | 5:00 PM (Central European Standard Time)

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/779030-english-banana-trust-free-summer-school-q-a-session-1

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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:

↑ MORE DIRECT ↑

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.”

↓ MORE POLITE ↓

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?’ 🙂


Freely Download, Print, Copy, and Sell English Teaching Materials

This is a short video about English Banana.com’s Free Licences, which allow you to use our free printable worksheets and books to teach and learn the English language. You can also sell English Banana.com materials for profit – without paying us any commission. This map shows how other people are using our licences: http://tiny.cc/eb4 You can find out more about the book in this video by clicking here: http://tiny.cc/eb2